Wednesday, March 21, 2007

And the doctor says...

The news wasn't all that bad! Thyroid, kidney, liver functions all great. Blood sugar great. Potassium, calcium, chloride, and the other one were great. Blood pressure was the best it's been for a while!

As far as the cholesterol numbers go, they need help but overall weren't too bad. My mother's total cholesterol was over 300 for a good while and she has been taking meds for years. The numbers I got back today were:

triglycerides: 127 (should be 0-149)
HDL: 45 (should be in the 50's to 60's)
VLDL: 25 (should be 5-40)
LDL: 127 (standard is 0-99, but with high blood pressure and meds, aim for 70's to 80's)
Total Cholesterol: 197 (should be 100-199)

The HDL is the 'good' cholesterol, and it is rather low; the LDL is the 'bad' cholesterol, and it is high (not soaring, but still of concern). We're pretty certain that the cause is genetics, since I have been focusing on my eating and exercise for many months and am already doing the things that are suggested as the first steps in lowering cholesterol. We discussed the possibilities of medications and vitamins and fish oils... Since I have been through so much in the past few years (hysterectomy, severe allergic reactions, hernia repair surgery, more anaphylaxis to name but a few...) we agreed that we will not be passive, but will work to get it under control NOW. I expressed my concerns with the statins (and lack of education regarding them), and figure that is probably how we will end up going. We're going to add more fish oils into the diet, and make sure I'm getting my B vitamins. It is a hard decision, but I feel I have to give serious thought to the lipitor or zocor (since there is a generic available and our insurance is SO lame in what they will cover if it isn't generic) In any case, we are monitoring this closely now, as well as the metabolic panel, and I am bound and determined to get healthy!

blah blah blah... enough of the medical stuff. This afternoon I intend to make lunch, clean up and do some crafting. I will also do some more descriptions for the website, but I want to have something created today. That always inspires me to keep on going!

Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

A Silver Lining

I am so excited! Today I torch-fired my first PMC (silver clay) piece. This clay is wonderful: it is tiny, as in microscopic, pieces of silver in an organic clay. When you fire it, the clay burns off, leaving fine silver. This piece is a pendant with a cross cut out of it and a notched frame, so to speak. Since it is my first piece, I figured I'd ruin it with the torch, so I didn't do my best work in shaping it, but it still turned out beautifully! *Doin the happy dance!* Oh, the possibilities this brings to mind!

I have been working on my website. I uploaded photographs of many of the pieces of jewelry that I currently have in stock; now I am working on writing up all of the descriptions and prices. I really do wish I had access to storefront software, but this will do for now!

I heard back from my doctor today. I had blood tests done last week, checking cholesterol etc. since I'm on blood pressure meds. They called to say that I needed to come in tomorrow morning to discuss the results with her. She had warned me in advance that if the results were unfavorable, she would call me in to discuss options. So, I have an appointment for 9AM. I have been on Weight Watchers for 5 months now and am eating properly. This makes me think that dietary control is not going to be an option. I am praying for wisdom, and, of course, for full manifestation of the health Jesus purchased for me at Calvary!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Weighing In

This past month has been awful as far as weight-loss goes. Obviously, I gained. Lots of reasons/excuses, like the prednisone I had to take for so long, and the trip to Ohio, and dealing with the bladder/kidney infection. Truth is, ups and downs to happen. The question is, how am I going to react when the scales read heavier?

In times past, the numbers on the scale would have been devastating. I would have reacted by - can you guess it? - running to the fridge for some "comfort food." That is the wrong reaction if I want to get back on a losing trend! Old habits die hard, but they CAN die. The right response is to settle down after the initial freakout and continue to eat correctly. If I have fallen off the wagon, then I must stand up, dust off, and jump back on.

I gained 8 lbs over the course of the past month, most of that from the prednisone, but some of it from not eating properly on my trip. At this point I am down 5 of those pounds and looking forward to getting the rest back off! I CAN get below 170, and I fully intend to!

This experience has reminded me of how so many people react to mistakes we might make in other areas of our lives, especially in our relationsips with God. If (when) we do make a mistake, are we going to try to hide from Him, claiming that He couldn't possibly want us around anymore? Are we going to run? Are we going to become belligerant? Do we just give up and sink lower because we don't want to have to start all over in our walks with Him? Or do we go to Him, confess our mistakes, purpose to turn from the mistakes and pick up where we left off?

So many people don't know it's an option. I John 1:9 says that if we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Jesus' sacrifice was once, and for all. You can't take that away! We are restored to right standing with God - righteousness! - and are able at that point to start growing in Him again.

So whether it is spiritual or physical, I purpose not to run to the fridge for comfort, but rather run into the open arms of my Loving Father. Here I come...

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

What a month!

It has been some kind of month. I had been missing my daughter so much, so I took her younger siblings on a road trip to go see her. (This was at her request, too, so it's not like we imposed or anything!) Don't you know, the day I was supposed to leave, I woke up to over a foot of snow on the ground! I was so bummed, I stayed in bed most of the day. Making a long and depressing story short, I decided to leave that night and drive all the way through til sunrise. Most of the time that would have been foolish for me to attempt, but it worked out beautifully since I had moped for so much of the day, and expended very little energy doing so! I was fully awake for the whole night.

Honestly, the visit didn't go that well. I loved seeing my daughter and enjoyed my time with her, but the little ones were awful for pretty much most of the time. My daughter also had to be on the phone or the computer with work-related issues much of the time, too, and I think I only saw her husband for about 1-5 minutes each day. That was a shame all around.

Even the most pitiful travel still must have some sunshine somewhere along the way... besides seeing it in my beautiful girl's smile, I saw it in a quick visit across the state line to visit a friend. We had actually never met before, other than through a cancer-related internet discussion board and many emails. She is a Christian who is battling the same kind of tumor my little Stephen had. We have been emailing for a couple of years, and I finally got to meet her! She is precious. She also introduced me to a woman who heads up a foundation which raises money for research on spinal cord tumors, and that was a fantastic meeting, divinely orchestrated. I am looking forward very much to working with Malia's Cord Foundation. Check them out at

I am really glad I got to go out and see Becki, Carol and Cara. Three very precious women who definitely brighten up my life! Please keep Carol in your prayers, as she started a new chemo recently and should be having another MRI anytime now to assess the effectiveness of it. I trust God completely for her healing and pray that she sees evidence of it on this next scan!!! Pray for Becki as she is at a crossroads with her business and definitely wants to do as God wants her to do. And pray for Cara and Malia's Cord Foundation, that their efforts will ultimately greatly contribute to finding a cure for spinal cord tumors.