Wednesday, July 4, 2012

# 126 - Priorities in a Row, Creativity in Tow!

Here in Texas, it looks to be a beautiful day. It started out rough for me, but it's building into a better and stronger day that I hope to be able to enjoy as fully as possible. Deputy Dave has already been out since the wee morning hours enjoying whatever it is that he enjoys and it's good that he does.

I hope that later in the day, I'll be able to go out and enjoy my own company, in peace and to have fun picking out designer paper for my oldest daughter's wedding shower invitations. Heather is so creative that she's hard to beat with imagination for cute invitation ideas!

For me, I love everything I come across when I'm in a craft store, but that is a blessing in life for me, I am easy to please. It takes little for me to find a worthwhile smile. And I don't mind having a great deal of solitude because I am never truly alone, the Lord is always with me. Always.

Since this is my blog to relay things relating to Addison's disease, I must first start with saying that I've been struggling a long while with abdominal pains ranging from dull to severely sharp, the pain can pounce upon me within a few seconds and with little warning. I believe my regular readers are aware of this issue. It's been a challenge because I might be out and about when it starts to occur and that could be a problem. The pain gets so intense that I have no choice but to double over in pain, I break out in a profuse sweat that accompanies severe pain, and I only want to get somewhere to lie down and to be left alone. Thank God, I've been able to be alone during these times, except for when Stefie was with me during a direct episode last month. It's not a time l like to share with anyone. Of course, as the severe pains and stomach cramping begin, I immediately take a hefty oral stress doss to accommodate my Addison's disease.

Through all of these increasing problems, I did manage to finish my service as a Grand Juror Foreman, but it was tough. One way to get through these last few months was to barely eat during our day in session. I could lightly nibble on something, but a full meal would have put me in danger of going into a ball on the floor, so I never allowed the chance to happen.

A couple of weeks before our service came to an end, I went to get a CT-Scan of my entire abdominal region. I had the scan on a Friday, then my doctor went on vacation for two weeks, which was great because I wasn't in a hurry to hear the results. I already knew something wasn't right, but I wasn't ready to hear it and I didn't want the end of my service on Grand Jury to be impacted by distraction. So, I decided to not hear anything about it until recently. Waiting three weeks for the results was not particularly difficult.

Plus, my youngest daughter was going through her own testing to rule out the possibility of MS and she had another test last week, a brain MRI, that came out clear...I was celebrating her good results! However, I didn't want to get my test results in the middle of her own issues...I wanted to keep her first and to not jumble the madness, especially for my husband because he didn't need to get bad news about those around him at one time --- I guess that was part of my "selfishness!". The least I could do was to spread it apart on purpose. Thankfully, Stefie is a healthy gal! It gave me added peace to be able to focus on her scan and her results first. I cannot thank God enough for her being healthy. I can handle my own health issues, but to see your child suffer is to be in agony for them.

As for my own scan, my family knows I had this CT-Scan and had been waiting on the results. My dad, in particular, kept asking me for the results. He was impatient. He would have rather gotten all the news at once and he would've just dealt with it rather than having to deal with a delay. He's not good with delays and he loves me enough to be  concerned every step of the way. But, he understood my reasoning for putting my own results on the back-burner. However, he told me, "I know you are worried about Stefie as a priority over your own health, and I understand because she's your baby and she's my grandbaby, but YOU are MY baby and putting this off is not good."

Dads have a way of getting through to you.

Of us all, the delay tortured my dad the most, but I'm glad he respected my decision and tried to wait patiently. He lets me know that he's praying for me --- my father --- praying --- for me. You can't get much more love than this. He's rather persistent and very involved with my health, after all, I am his oldest daughter. For the past few months, he's even let me borrow his car because I've let my youngest take our extra vehicle to college. My dad did not think it wise for me to be left without a vehicle, so he's made sure to remedy that matter and I'm grateful. His vehicle allowed me to make my appointments to to take myself to the places where I would go for testing and check-ups. It's good that I have a car because I'm usually alone for these tests, and I prefer it that way. There's nothing anyone can do but sit and wait; I'd not want to bore anyone in this manner. Besides, I'm rather tough and can endure the pain and stress of these tests on my own, it's often easier to do without seeing someone else's face contort into sympathy. I always tell my sister, "Save it for the results...then we can face it together...a test is a time of knowing nothing, getting the results is the time I will need you to lean on!"

As for my dad, he and I have been through a lot as father and daughter, which included taking care of my mom together as she died. We are well bonded. My dad does not put forth mock concern over my situation in front of people and then behave another way behind closed doors...his concern is genuine and consistent. He and I have a true friendship. I trust my dad. His heart is truly tied to me as mine is to his; no matter my age, I will always be his child and it is him that I sometimes worry about the most when I must relay a bit of news that might be considered "bad."

Besides, he is easy for me to approach, on a good and bad day. So, I'm more likely to go to him on a bad day.

The best thing about my dad, to me, is that he sees me as a good person, even with my every fault. He doesn't see me as selfish, even though I am borrowing his vehicle for a prolonged period of time. He thinks the best of me and for that I am astounded and appreciative. He knows my motives toward those I love are truly deep and that I would work to the death to help someone in a jam. He's my dad. He understands a side of me that would love to blend into the wall as a wallflower; that would be a delight for me, but this path of Addison's and other troubles is what I've been given, so I do the best with it that I can. That includes being honest about the good and bad times with my outreach. I refuse to put on a mask of lies surrounding this disease with complications because I want others to know that they are not alone in their moments of suffering.

When you have Addison's or Adrenal Insufficiency, everything in your life affects your condition.

Well, yesterday I spoke with the Dr. and he faxed me a copy of my CT-Scan. There are some definite problems that will need to be addressed right away. The problem is, there are several issues and the Dr. is trying to figure out which way to approach it --- which one should be first on the list when we are worried the others might need to be first. We will be talking again tomorrow.

At least I know why I am in great pain --- that has been revealed.

Of the many angles we are approaching, one test will be a colonoscopy as the reports says that a mass cannot be ruled out and the walls of the colon are noticeably thickened, which could mean a few things, not any of them are particularly good news. Then, the problem reaches to my bladder which has lining that is evidently swollen as well with thickened walls. The Dr. said he was concerned that everything in this area is swollen...something rather widespread is going would be better if it were isolated to one area. But, like I said, it explains my increasing pain.

We discussed a potential hospital stay so that I could go through several tests within a short period of time instead of drawing out the tests for weeks, especially when time could be of the essence. I've already delayed getting the news of the CT-Scan for a few weeks, but now I must move forward with haste. I HATE being in the hospital, but this is one time when I might have to agree that it would be the most efficient course of action.

For those of you who have Addison's disease, you understand the problems that these battles in my body are creating. It makes it more difficult to manage the Addison's and this better explains why I've had sudden Addison Crisis symptoms over the past few months and am having a more difficult time keeping myself body is in a constant battle. As for the mass they suspect, I can almost feel something in that area when I lie on my makes me wonder if it is the mass that I can feel? It's over 4cm in size, which is getting rather intimidating for a mass and I know what that size would mean, if it were to be malignant. When I lie on my stomach, it feels as if a hard golf ball is beneath me. Sometimes, I even check beneath me to see if there is something actually there in the way. There is never anything that can physically be moved to make the lump disappear because it's stuck inside of me. I guess we shall soon find out.

One huge issue is that I've completely lost my appetite, yet I force myself to eat every day. I try to eat two meals per day and to make it calorie rich so that I don't get into an Addison's wasting situation from the constant stress the issues are putting upon my body. Oh, I've got some "power pounds" on me so I am not very concerned about a sudden, rapid dip in weight loss...I've been good at keeping the padding in place. But, I am about 10-15 pounds less than I'd been last year, it seems I've leveled out, yet again. For me, having a stable weight is a good thing. Being skinny is not desirable. For those of you who suffered with rapid wasting due to Addison's, you understand this dilemma. I don't need to add a wasting problem to the other issues, so I am good about eating. Unfortunately, for the past several weeks, I have been so nauseated that I cannot get through my day without starting it off with Zolfran to control the nausea. At least I have this medication and it works fairly well to ward off major bouts of nausea.

Anyway, I keep going. There are plenty of people who have worse problems and they manage to keep moving forward. I will keep moving forward and doing all that I can in spite of these hurdles. I have had many challenges, but I've also had many MORE blessings. So, I can't feel abandoned by my Lord...he has seen me through some of the most difficult times. I have faith that He will be with me through all my days, until the end, no matter the age I am when the end might find me.

I am thankful to be surrounded by family and friends who are true supporters, even in the worst of times. Those are my true friends and you know who you are.

I will try to make more regular posts while doing all I can to heal my body because I have too much to look forward to. My daughter's wedding in October is such a huge event...I will do all I can to be in the best condition possible for that beautiful day.

There is much for me to look forward to. In spite of other areas that are disappointing, I am focusing on those whom I love dearly and focusing upon those who truly love me. Letting go of former friends who have turned out to be very unfriendly has been a treasure and a release. Those with mechanical motivations have lost their gleam for me...but it makes me better focus on all the other areas that are rich with blessings.

I'm sure a lot will be happening over the next week, I'll keep you posted! Meanwhile, I'm working on designing my daughter's wedding shower invitations that are looking as if they will be SUPER CUTE! It's wonderful to be able to focus on such things during times of personal hardship. I love the goodness in life that distract us from the ugly parts; I appreciate those who offer encouragement and kindness, at all times, not just during the scary times. I value my true friends who are eager to think the best of me, even in my worst moments.

It's great to also have such awesome blog buddies!

Thank God for good things in our lives!

A Couple of Months Ago


  1. By the way, my youngest daughter is actually doing the "design" and has the final approval of the wedding shower invitations, I'm just doing the computer layout design with some assisting with supplies. My kids are so much better at this stuff than I am, but I'm great at FOLLOWING INSTRUCTIONS! :-)


  2. To those of you sending beautiful emails...such as Bobbie's...thank you so much for your kind words. I'm always touched and appreciate the prayers! Your influence is felt all the way here in Texas!


  3. Lana, I don't know what to say my Friend. You are very brave. I am the opposite of you....I want test results right away and as far as getting things done, like tests or sugery...I want it NOW. Taking care of your daughters's needs before your own is so typical of you. But don't overlook your own health issues. I will be sending prayers and good thoughts your way. Please keep us posted.

  4. Mo, I once wanted to get my test results as fast as possible, but after all these years, I almost dread getting them because they seem to always reveal some bad news. So, now I'm not in a hurry to get the report. This time, I was trying to give time for us to find out how my daughter's report turned out and so that my husband didn't have all the information at once and it cause him too much stress. However, I won't be thinking out his stress level any longer cause he could sure give a flying flip about my own! Anyway, at least taking care of things for my daughters is a good, happy distraction. I love those gals! It's great to be a mom and it will only continue to get better and better - those grand-babies aren't too far off into the future.


  5. Hi Lana! I saw your episode on TLC :) it was so fun to see you all! you must go by your middle name? Heather looked beautiful in the dress she chose. Is that the dress that she's actually is going to wear?

    I hope you find out what to do about your abdominal issues, I know that's the last thing you want to deal with right now.

  6. Suzanna, I am so glad you caught it! It's been a wonderful time in my daughter's life --- she is a very happy, enthusiastic bride who is a do-it-yourself-crafter and is doing most everything to make the decorations for her wedding. I am very proud of her. She has a full life in front of her!



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