Stop, Let Me Off

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Oh how I wish life would just stop throwing curve balls.  There never seems to be any length of time where things are quiet, serene, boring. I would give much to have that for a long while. 

Most of my readers know my husband suffered a heart attack back in 2016. Since then it’s been an emotional and frightening roller coaster ride. One thing after another with his health, questions, unknowns, uncertainty, relief, anxiety, fear etc. I’ve walked on eggshells for the last nineteen months every single day and this past month has been no exception. Since Oct of 2016 my husband has suffered from fluid retention (edema) in his right shin and ankle of what we were told was ‘unknown origin” except that he has what is called diastolic heart failure so it was probably from that but, ‘not dangerous’. This past month he began complaining of chest pain (different from his heart attack pain) and shortness of breath. Off to the cardiologist we went. 

Another heart catherization was set up. For those who don’t know what that is, its where they thread a small camera up a main artery, in this case they went through my husbands right wrist, directly into the heart so they can see the arteries etc. We were told the stent placed last year was wide open, the other blockage he has is actually reversing itself and all was well that his chest pain and shortness of breath were non – cardiac. 

A week later I came down with the dreaded Flu which settled in my top teeth and then caused a horrific tooth abscess on top of the flu with it’s fevers, muscle pain etc. Last week was a pretty tough week physically for me because it has also made my rheumatoid arthritis flare as well . 

Last week we also saw our regular MD to talk about what could be happening with my husband. Our MD sent him in for a CT scan of his chest and lungs on Thursday. He was concerned about a blood clot in the lungs or worse. Such as lung cancer, COPD etc. To say it was a long emotional weekend would be an understatement. The results came in today, Monday. Seems, thanks be to God, he doesn’t have any of the above but what he does have is fluid in his lungs to go along with the fluid in his abdomen, shin and ankle. Yes, we were told the heart was fine and this is pretty much what I looked like when I got off the phone with our MD’s nurse. 

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I called the cardiologist right away. After a few phone calls back and forth with me explaining to the nurse that our MD says the fluid is coming from his heart failure, (my husband has diastolic thickening and dysfunction) the cardiologist has now started my husband on a double dose of Lasix (water pill) as of tonight and then regular dose each day until we see him along with sending us an order for blood work to check his kidneys as water pills can be hard on the kidneys and dangerous all the way around. 

Oh, in the middle of all of this, we also saw my husbands pain doctor. For those who don’t know, he has had 9 back surgeries since 2005 and has horrible nerve damage in his spine. He began testing at the pain doctor for an internal stimulator to be implanted soon but now, that’s on hold until we can get this edema (fluid retention) under control along with the chest pain and shortness of breath. 

As I am writing this tonight, the pain in my hands from the RA is pretty intense despite my medication and I am sitting atop of my bed, all dogs around me and two on the bed, all sleeping. No television, no music, no YouTube videos playing.  In silence because at this very moment that’s what I need. Silence. Someday’s I just want the train of life to stop and let me off.

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Will You Be Attending?

YOU'RE INVITED!!

In the society we live in these days, our Lord Jesus Christ has been a victim of what most men are now victims of. That is, emasculation. The “feminists”, a group I proudly say I am not part of, and don’t believe an ounce of their rhetoric have turned men into sissy boys. Women believe they don’t ‘need’ a man, they are ‘better than a man’ and the ridiculous list goes on and on and on, and they’ve done the same to our Lord Jesus Christ. Worse yet, those in the Church have gone along with this thinking and have been teaching this mindset for so long, that now, most people think that our Lord Jesus Christ is all about love, lollipops and unicorns. They couldn’t be more wrong. 

While Jesus IS love, He is also just, and righteous and He IS the TRUTH itself. Many places in the bible it tells us that our Lord got angry, and He also tells us countless times what we must do to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Why am I writing this post? I was reading the daily Mass readings for today and the Gospel is from Luke 14:15-24. Our Lord is telling about a man who prepares a feast for friends. He then sends his servant to go and invite said friends. Well, each ‘friend’ had a reason they could not attend. Angering the man he then tells his servant to go out into the streets and invite, the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind to his wonderful feast, rich in all the finest foods of the day. 

Our Lord ends this parable by saying, “I tell you, none of those men who were invited will taste my dinner”. So what is Jesus telling us? The answer is very simple. 

Jesus has invited us ALL to His feast in the Kingdom of Heaven. The invitation is open to all but if you reject Him and His invitation you will NOT taste the Kingdom of Heaven. What does rejecting Him mean? It means not living as He says in Scripture. It means not being open to His love, mercy and graces because we think we know better. It means being of this world and all it’s evil ways instead of just being in the world but keeping our focus on the Lord at all times even when it’s the hardest. 

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So the question then becomes. Will you accept His invitation?

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Can You Hear It?

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We live in a world of chaos and noise.. There is so much noise that most of us if we were to be honest with ourselves can’t handle being in silence. In stillness. We become bored and anxious. Our brains have been rewired to be constantly thinking and doing and the sadness of this fact is, we miss it.

What It am I talking about? The voice of God. What is the voice of God? How do we hear it? The best way for me to explain what the voice of God is, is from the Holy Scriptures in 1 Kings 19:9-13. Elijah is in a cave and the Lord tells him to go outside because the Lord is passing by. When Elijah gets outside a fierce wind comes crushing mountains and rocks but the Lord was not in the wind. Then, an earthquake comes shaking the earth and making more noise but the Lord was not in the earthquake. Next, a fire comes and makes all kinds of noise burning all in its path but the Lord was not in the fire. Finally, a soft breeze comes and Elijah hears the voice of God.

There are two ways here we can understand God. Firstly, God doesn’t speak to us in a loud, noisy, chaos filled voice. There will be no “big bang” so to speak. Instead, Gods voice is like that of a gentle breeze. Have you ever sat outside on a beautiful spring day and felt a soft, gentle breeze? It has no sound does it?.. So we learn that God comes softly. God speaks softly and He speaks gently.

Secondly, God comes in silence. He does not try and breakthrough the chaos of the noisy world we live in. He will not shout over the noise of our thoughts. He waits for us to be silent.  In the fast paced, incredibly noisy world we all live in, finding solitude and silence can be a large task but not impossible. We must seek out the silence. We must re-train our minds to be silent because in that silence we will hear the soft, gentle voice of God who wishes to speak with us if only we allow Him too.

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Zucchini Strips With Portobello Bolognese

Today I am sharing with you a recipe I made for my Mr this week. Since changing his diet due to health reasons I have been slowly easing him into a more healthful diet. Mr is an Italian and loves to eat. The problem is he loves to eat all the wrong things but by introducing him to dishes with lots of flavor he’s learning that eating healthy doesn’t have to mean boring or tasteless.  I hope you will also enjoy this delicious healthy meal for yourself and your family. In the photos I share with you the stages of this recipe and down below you will find the complete ingredient list and directions.

Here is what you’ll need to begin.

 

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Pictured here is, minced garlic, minced celery, onion and carrots along with Portobello caps.

After you’ve minced your vegetables, garlic and onion you will also want to finely chop your portobello caps. Add all of these ingredients to a pan and saute. 

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While your veggies are sauteing you will want to strip your zucchini’s. You can spiral them if you choose but since I don’t have a spiraler yet I just used my vegetable peeler and made wide strip zucchini noodles. 

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After you’ve cut your zucchini noodles you’ll want to saute them in olive oil just until soft.

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When the dish is complete it will look beautiful and taste even better!

 

Ingredients List: 

3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil, divided

6 Portobello Mushroom Caps, stems and gills removed and finely chopped

1/2 C minced carrot

1/2 C minced celery

1/2 C minced yellow onion

3 large garlic cloves, minced

Salt & pepper (optional)

1 TBSP tomato paste

1 – 28oz can of crushed tomatoes 

2 TSP dried oregano

1/2 C fresh basil leaves, finely chopped, plus a small bit for serving

4 medium Zucchini

Directions: 

Heat 2 TBSP olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat.  When hot add mushrooms, carrots, celery, onion and garlic. You can also add a pinch of salt and pepper if you choose. It will look like a lot of mushroom but these will cook down. 

Cook for 8 – to minutes until veggies are soft and mushrooms have released all their liquid. 

Stir in tomato paste and cook for 2 more minutes.

Stir in crushed tomatoes, oregano, and basil. Simmer for 15 minutes until sauce has thickened and the flavors have married together. 

While sauce is simmering slice your zucchini noodles or spiral them.

Heat remaining oil in a large skillet. When it’s hot add zucchini noodles. Season with salt & pepper tossing the noodles for about 2 minutes until they are just tender. Immediately remove the noodles from the skillet. You don’t want to overcook them or they will get watery. 

Divine Zucchini noodles onto plate or in bowls, pour bolognese sauce over top.

Garnish with fresh basil leaves and parmesan cheese.

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Worried

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Yes, that pretty much looks like I do right at the moment.  Just a quick back history for those who aren’t familiar. In April 2016 my husband suffered a heart attack. God decided it wasn’t his time yet and he came out of it pretty well. Fast forward a few months and my Mr began collecting fluid in his feet, ankles and lower legs. 

For almost a year we tried figuring this out. We ran almost every cardiac test you can run with the exception of a catherization because my Mr. didn’t want to undergo that again and honestly, I couldn’t blame him. All tests were showing fine. There was what we have been told a ‘minor’ issue with his heart but nothing dangerous and nothing to worry about. 

Just last month I “thought” we made a breakthrough. His water pill and blood thinner were removed from his medication regiment and suddenly the fluid went away. We could finally see his feet and ankles again.  I was incredibly relieved and incredibly grateful. 

Well, it seems to have been short lived only this time it’s not anywhere near as bad as it was. My husband is now collecting fluid again in his lower legs. Not in his feet yet nor his ankles just a small area in both lower legs with the right one being worse than the left. This is how it’s always been.

Two months ago his blood work showed a slight elevation in his kidney levels so I am going to call our family doctor on Monday to make an appointment and have the test run again. It amazes me that his problems all seem to have begun with the heart attack more than a year ago but we are told the heart attack did not cause any damage to the muscle. 

Once again, I am confused and feeling very worried. Scared actually.  My Mr is my whole world, my life and I have been full of fear and worry for over a year. Every time I think we are on the right track another softball is lobbed straight at my skull. 

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I know I need to trust in the Lord and believe me, I am trying. I am trying incredibly hard but the truth is I am scared and I am frustrated that I can’t seem to give this 100% to the Lord and know that He will take care of things. Again I ask you, please keep us in your prayers. 

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