Saturday, May 29, 2010

The end of the school year...

is always one filled with mixed feelings.  This year is no different.  It has been a long year.  First on my mind is a feeling of triumph...I lived through the year.  I used to say that in a "tongue-in-cheek" manner--every school year seems like an uphill battle.  This year, it has a whole new meaning.  Not only did I survive two heart attacks, I came out of it a much healthier person in the long run.  I know my body much better than I did before.  Even my cardiologist has praised me for understanding my condition and how to manage it.  He has pushed the limits of my body and medication, with the confidence that I know my body best and that I understand how the medications work, and how to use them to my advantage.  And...with some wonderful encouragement to lessen the load on my heart as much as possible, I am almost 20 pounds lighter than I was just 5 months ago (I have one more pound to hit the 20 lb milestone, and another 13 to hit the doctor's goal for me).

The class has made nice gains this year as well.  Watching videos of some of my "babies" yesterday, seeing how much they have grown, reflecting on the strides they have made this year, brought chills.  No matter how well they do, I still will always feel like I am not doing as much as I can for them, and will continue to strive for making their education the best it can be. 

My boys are growing into young men.  Jake has found his place as a certified "band geek".  I am loving the experience of being the band mom, chaperoning and supporting him, his band mates, and the directors.  Josh has continued to play ball, rolling from one season into another.  Both boys are still excel at soccer.  They are learning how to be responsible for themselves and their actions.  Jake especially has found out that he is brave enough to face the really hard stuff, and the pain that doing the right thing can bring.  I am so proud of both of them.

I am not sure who is more excited about the end of the school year, the boys or me, LOL!  We all definately have our eyes on summer.  I am working summer school, studying along side other National Board Certified Teachers, and attending my *gulp* 20 year high school reunion.  Jake will be attending Illinois Summer Youth Music camp at the University of Illinois.  Josh is enjoying a 2 week break before AAU basketball starts up again. 

Recently, I have taken to reading through quote sites, finding eloquent words to express the feelings inside me.  This one seems to wrap up the school year:

“If the school sends out children with a desire for knowledge and some idea of how to acquire and use it, it will have done its work”--Richard Livingstone

Happy Summer!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The sun is shining...

And it has been a good weekend.  I am feeling good, with very few episodes of chest pain since my last hospital stay (April 7-8).  I am going in on Tuesday to finally address my hearing issues, and need to get contact with my orthopedic surgeon about an "oil change" on my right knee (more lubricating shots will be in order soon).  But, all of those things are only hiccups, and they can be fixed :)

Josh's first overnight basketball tournament in this weekend in the Chicago area.  On the way up, I had a chance to catch up with a dear friend who I miss having in my daily life, and did a little shopping.  Though, it was more just walking than shopping.  The people watching at the mall was good too ;)

Last night, both the 6th and 7th grade teams won!  Josh had 6 points, as a result of 2-three point shots.  I think that wrist has healed. 

Jake's concert band made it to Superstate, meaning that in May he will be performing at Krannert in the Great Hall.  I cannot wait to see them perform in that venue.  They will look so small in that big auditorium.  Tuesday they are having all day clinics to prepare. 

A happy, proud momma sits here, enjoying the sunshine, with a smile on my face.

Josh's first 3-pointer of the night

and the second....

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Happy Easter!

What an incredible morning!  The sun is shining, my tummy is full from a yummy lunch (if I do say so myself), and I got to spend my morning praising Jesus.  Life is good!

I thought I would have some pictures today from church to share--but my little photographer does not exactly seem to know what the word "focus" means ;)  Either way, it was a glorious service, full of praise music and a great message--"Jesus didn't need Peter to die for him; Peter needed Jesus to die for HIM." -Randy Boltinghouse.  Are we ready to let Jesus break our chains of the past and move forward--serving His people along the way?

Never fails, leaving a service like that, I have to examine my life and how I am spending it.  So...some contemplating things today.

Also, some rest is in order.  I was able to do my part in serving this morning by interpreting the service, as I do on a very regular basis.  Interpreting something that high energy is a good cardio workout.  I can proudly say that I got through an hour and a half, in addition to over an hour of rehearsal, without problems.  However, why I ever thought it was a good idea to interpret that much, then come home to peel potatoes is beyond me ;)

Happy Easter everyone!  He is Risen....He is Risen indeed!

Friday, April 02, 2010

Basketball in the spring...

One of the signs of spring is heading the thump, thump, thump of Josh's basketball out front.  The first thing to be done in terms of outside "maintenance" in the spring at our house is DH hauling the basketball hoop out to the street.  I remember that on the back patio of the old house, lowered as far as it would go, and little Josh spending hours shooting hoops. 
Now, it is set at regulation height.  Josh is no longer little--he recently measured in at 5'4"...only one inch shorter than me.  And his practice is no longer random shooting for fun.  It is scheduled, regimented, intentional practice to help improve his game. 

He finished out the last season in middle school basketball, his team loosing in the first game of the regionals. The broken wrist really impacted the season, long after the cast was off.  He was timid on the court, shying away from physical contact and driving to the hoop.  Then, seeing his teammate receive a life-altering injury on the court made him even more timid. 

So, after the season was over, he enrolled in a local training facility for an Athleticism class, with the goal of increasing confidence, endurance, and strength.  His birthday brought a weight system to allow him to continue practicing what he had learned once class was over.  Now, in the midst of March Madness, he has joined an AAU basketball team that will go into the summer.  AAU is the Amateur Athletic Union, .  Their first game was last night.  They won 62-34, which was very impressive.  Even more impressive, however, was how well the team played--quick, accurate passes, communicating, and overall good athleticism. 

And....Josh looked good out there.  He was in the game, in the mix, passing, dribbling and shooting.  He didn't look scared or timid any more.  He looked....ready.  Game on.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

It has been a while

I haven't updated in so long because I have been busy living life.  A few calls to the doctor here, an office visit there, and I am still here.  It has been three months...three long months.  I have learned more about coronary artery spasms than I ever thought I would need to.  I follow my blood pressure daily.  I take more meds than I am honestly comfortable with.  I have memorized the list, the dosages, the purposes of each, and the side effects as well.  I carry nitroglycerine with me at all times, and use it more than I would like to admit.  I have finally come to accept the fact that this is my life.  My "new normal", as the nurse puts it.  The doctor had me on the highest dose of meds that he felt was appropriate, then he increased them by 50%, with the statement, "You are one of my most intelligent patients.  You know what these meds will do to you.  You know your body and what to watch for.  Try this dose for a week and let me know how it goes." 

That made me stop and think.  Who is running the show here?  For the last three months, my chest pain and medications have been in charge.  I have been a slave to both.  But I cannot continue to really "live" unless I get back in control.  Prinzmetal’s angina, you are not the boss of me.  I am the boss of you

No, that does not mean I don't follow my doctor's recommendations.  No, that does not mean I don't still have chest pain.  No, it does not mean that I am "better".  I will never be "better".  There is no cure.  But I will manage this, it will not manage me. 

Now, I am not so into my newly-found position as "boss of me" to forget who really is in charge.  God had a plan that night, and clearly He thinks my work here is not done, because I am still here.  So, now to continue the work I have begun, and pay attention to His gentle nudges as to what else this life will hold for me. 

On my many times in the car today, to go to the many places my busy life takes me, I heard the song "A More Beautiful You" by Jonny Diaz twice.  I have liked this song since its release, and have heard it probably hundreds of times (I should check my iPod account).  Today though, a few of the lyrics hit me hard.  "You were made to fill a purpose that only you could do/ So there could never be a more beautiful you."  I was made to fill a purpose...yes, I was.  And God decided to that I am not done fulfilling that purpose, so I continue to live.  And that's what I plan to  Upcoming posts will again be about kids, church, school, life....

For those interested, here is a link to Jonny's song....
Jonny Diaz- A More Beautiful You

And here are links to a couple of interesting (yawn...) articles on my condition....

Now....back to regularly scheduled programming.....

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Well, last week I made it through 3 FULL days of work. Thursday was a busy, then the last home game of the season. After the game and 2 hours in the consession stand, I got home, exhausted! About 8 pm, the chest pain started. Clearly, my 12 hour day had been too much. I slept restlessly off and on all night.

I woke Friday with continued chest pain. I had hoped (ok, I was grasping at straws) that getting on with my day would make things settle in. Let the meds work, and I'd be fine. After a 9:00 am call to Dr. Heaven's office, DH was whisking me again to the ER. Ugh.

I was in the ER for 8 long hours as they tried to find me a bed in an already-at-capacity hospital. Blood enzymes were "fine", meaning no heart attack. So, after a LONG day, and increased meds, I was sent home. Saturday was dicey--the migraines were pretty rough. I was in and out of bed all day.

Sunday was my birthday. I managed to avoid headaches for the most part. I enjoyed church and lunch out before hitting the couch to rest.

Monday--more chest pain. Dr. Heaven decides to increase the meds--again. So, today I start a dose that is 4 times what last Thursday's dose was. Waiting to see what that means in terms of migraines. I am going to work--hoping for the best, but prepared for the worst. Pray for me.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hospital Pictures

Some pictures that Josh took while I was in the hospital in Bloomington--I guarantee that I am looking quite a bit better than this these days ;)