our first picture of the New Year at Christmas with Zach's family yesterday
I have moonface from the prednisone--I'm like Gwyneth Paltrow's character in Shallow Hal! ;)
It's a new year, a new beginning, a new creation. I have been debating whether I want to make New Year's Resolutions (which are usually abstract goals) or not. I've already made them in my head anyway, but if I write them out, I am afraid I will set myself up for failure. Then again, if I don't write them out, I won't be challenging myself to follow through on them. Hmmm...
If I were to write them out, at the top of the list would be to get healthy/fully recover. This would be an ongoing goal as I have been working on this for the past year since that terrible stomach bug during Thanksgiving 2010, and, more seriously, the past two months. I'm being a good little soldiering patient, taking my medicine and supplements like clockwork, eating as much as I can, drinking three protein shakes (Boost/Ensure) a day, walking as much as I can, and breathing into this little device to strengthen my lungs further. I even wear a facial mask when I go out to public places to avoid germs. The good news is that I am down to twenty milligrams of prednisone today, so I only have a month left on it! It's actually the only prescription drug I am currently on, but I believe that, in a few more weeks, Dr. Stagg will put me on Imuran, an immuno-suppresant drug. (Dr. Kwon wanted me to heal six to eight weeks first, I believe, because Imuran can slow healing. He also felt the same way about the prednisone initially, but Dr. Stagg put me back on that because you HAVE to taper off of it.) I was on this when I was first diagnosed with Crohn's and had no issues; it is supposed to help the Remicade along to get me and keep me in remission, which it did back in 2003. It's hard to say if the Remicade is working or not since I am still getting used to having a colostomy...and the rest of my colon is just chilling. I haven't had any issues--but I don't know if that is because of the Remicade or the colostomy. Speaking of Mr. T Brixby, Attorney-at-Law...that's the name Zach and I gave my stoma...I am getting more used to having a colostomy. I still haven't gotten any supplies though (except what one company shipped after I was released, a few samples I got by mail, and what my home nurse supplied); no one explained I had to order from a third party and that it takes forever to get them shipped. After ordering with Liberty Medical, getting them to fax my prescription for the second time because Dr. Stagg's office never received it, and getting it signed off, they let me know that they were not in my insurance's network. I finally found a supplier in the area, but I have to get a prescription from my doctor, so I am getting that tomorrow. Dr. Kwon said I may be able to get my colostomy reversed as soon as February or March depending on how well I am doing, so I am thankful for that! But I don't want to get back to the state in which I was before I got very sick--I want to be healthier. I got two books for Christmas, Body Heal Thyself and The Maker's Diet by Jordan S. Rubin, that I believe will guide me in this effort. Illness and weakness does not come from God; those are consequences of our broken world. God wants us to be healthy and whole, in His image as He created us. I have been eating very healthy since I have been home, and I want to continue that as well. I LOVE food, and I LOVE cooking--I am very passionate about both, and I am starting to return to them. As a result, I'm bringing back Menu Monday! Since I've been home, I've already tried a few new recipes. We've been eating more meat and poultry because I need as much protein as possible, so it has been fun to experiment with them. (I'm going to enjoy them while I can because I still don't want to eat too much meat.)
If I were to give a second resolution, it would be to grow in my faith and in my relationship with God. God saved my life a month and a day ago; He spared me from death. I have become a firm believer and living example of the power of prayer. I truly believe that if we had not asked for prayer and had not joined together and believed that God would hear our prayers and heal me, I could not be here today--and I definitely would not be healing as fast as I am. And all the glory is God's! People keep talking about how strong I am and how they admire me and such--and I was trying to be strong, but not for myself--for those around me. I just wanted the pain to end; I didn't care how. I just couldn't handle it and turned it over to God and let Jesus carry me through. It was definitely the best decision I ever made. I want to remember what peace and joy I felt knowing I didn't have to worry about my life; it has all been decided. I worry too much and stress too much--all that is bad for your body and mind and soul. I've gotten back into journaling and praying and reading Scripture. I feel a great need to pray for people who are in trouble, and I am thankful for social networks that allow me to see those needs in a new way. I want to be able to serve and love God and others freely now, and I think the best way I can do this is by encouraging people. It has been on my heart for a long time to start a card ministry, and I think I am finally going to do it. I LOVE sending cards; I am so upset I missed many of my friends' birthdays and anniversaries while I was sick. I keep all of my cards I get. I know what an encouragement they can be when you are sick or down or been disappointed. So this is another one of my big plans for 2012.
If I was to write down another resolution, it would be to write more--so the blog is back! I've missed it, and I've learned I don't care if anyone reads it because it is an outlet for me! It became stressful to keep up with it, but, as I won't be teaching this semester, I hope to have more time to do something that will help me heal and grow.
Finally, I just want to be happy and to enjoy life as much as possible. I learned that it can all be gone in a minute, and there is no reason to worry or stress over things because I am not in control! I want to spend more time with my husband and our cats and our family and our friends. I want to be a better wife, daughter, sister, and friend. I want to do all the things I/we have discussed--whether that is eating out at places we haven't been or traveling to places we would love to visit or trying new activities like ballroom dancing--rather than talking about them. We are already planning things and doing things, and I look forward to having more strength to do even more things.
I go in for my second Remicade treatment tomorrow at one, so I would appreciate any prayers and good thoughts sent our way. And to keep Parker Purifoy's family in your prayers. Thanks! I also have to list a praise: Easton Begoon is still in remission!
I hope you all had a blessed New Year's! I have a lot more to say, but that will be coming in the coming days and weeks. :)