Tuesday, December 16, 2014

I have been pondering something. What does giving mean to you? Do you give freely without any stings attached, or without receiving anything back? Do you give because you want to be recognized or want to be kept in the shadows letting the person that's receiving shine? I know that I am the person that wants to give freely, no strings, no recognition, and without receiving anything back. I really love to give much more than I like receiving. The feeling that blesses me far outlasts any feeling of getting a gift of some sort. 

I have some people in my life that love to give, have always bent over backwards to help in any way. That gives a person like me HOPE this time of year when things are so down and stressful for so many. This world isn't a great place to be sometimes, but when a giving heart comes along, it really makes a person feel loved and thought of.

A very close friend of mine just recently lost everything to a house fire. It was one of those moments that made you stand up and think "why" this time of year. WHY? Because the devil hates Christmas. Christ took something away from him and gave to all of us....HOPE! The biggest gift of all. Thankfully, I live in a tight, close knit community and so many are helping my friend and she is totally overwhelmed by the generosity. It really should be a movie. God is shining brightly!

So to those who do not give to unless they are receiving or think you are the only ones having a tight Christmas, look around you and listen to that "still small voice." If you hear "GIVE" then do it. Do not be selfish this time of year and think only about you and your family...think about others instead of being selfish. Give freely because you feel love and let it shine.

God forgive me for letting people rob me of my happiness because of their selfishness. I know it's not them, it's the devil.

                                                                  ~Sweet Melanie~

Friday, December 5, 2014

Merry Christmas 2014

Things were done a little different this year.  The window wall proved to be an obstacle with the tree placement.  Thankfully, I started decorating before Thanksgiving, so this is all I have done.  I haven't even been able to do outside or downstairs yet.  But it sure was nice coming home from the hospital to a Christmas-ey home.  I think God may have had something to do with that feeling of needing to decorate early this year....I have only decorated one other time way before Thanksgiving and that was when Mammaw passed away.  God knows how much we adore Christmas, not for the decorations or presents, but because of Him.  So I thank Him for this Christmas.

~The tree~

I chose to do the same colors this year and to put the tree here.  The star atop reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas.

The tulle added makes the skirt so much prettier , especially in person!

Normally the tree is in the center of the room where the window wall is.  I tired, I really did...but it wouldn't work.  (sad face)

Part of the culprit is this big armoire!

I normally have it sitting on this wall.  Thankfully, I have many ways to move things around to.

Having an open floor plan actually works sometimes if you have enough walls for furniture placement.

I moved the chest that usually sits here.  I wanted something simple and this did it for me.  

The chest works perfectly in front of the two windows by our favorite chair.  Plenty of room for decorations and our drinks.

And we can see the tree from every angle in both rooms.  

One of my favorite songs for Christmas, Walking in a Winter Wonderland, was a score st Home Goods a few years back with this cute light up cityscape.  Keeping it simple again here too.
Now if it would only snow...

I love these two wreaths on the armoire and the snowflakes on the mirror.

I make all of my wreaths each year.  No hot glue on any of them since my tastes change a lot.  And I definitely say Merry Christmas!

I just adore sparkly things for Christmas...and soft candle light too!

Another simple wreath with a cute cookie in the center and a white bow.  

Nice and cozy, the perfect spot to snuggle up and watch Christmas movies!

Now for the kitchen...

I have a smaller table this year.  I kept it simple as well.

Normally, I have china displayed all year long on the table adding different decorations for Christmas.  

The island, I always love the Santa garland and stocking hanger re-purposed from many Christmases ago.

White poinsettias are always a fav of mine...and white lights really make them glow!

Added with some ornaments and pine, they look perfect in this picket fence box for the centerpiece of the island.

I love the view from the kitchen!

Guess what I did here?  Yep, made some curtains.  I am in love with how this all turned out!  

Those window panels hide the feet that hold the window wall up.  Plus, they add a nice warm touch for Winter.

The mantel stayed the same only adding pine garland and ornaments along with my favorite sparkly Nativity scene.  The angel wreath finished it off perfectly.

Normally, I am not a candle person, but this time of year, I am!

The stockings I made from Mammaw's sweater are fond memories of one so dear to our hearts.

Her china cabinet sits proudly adorned in splendor in the heart of our home.  How I miss her so.....

Family memories....something I truly cherish.

The one true reason to celebrate Christmas!

Joy is something only He can truly give.

~Simply simple~

The hallway....

Nothing fancy.

My girls have grown so....they are my world!

Louis is loving the tree....he's broken one ornament and one snowflake, unwrapped the tulle from the tree and absolutely adores the tree skirt.  Other than that, he's a perfectly behaved cat.  (Insert a cough here)

And that's it for now.  I don't know if I will have time to finish decorating all that I normally do, but for now, this will do just fine for me and my little family.

May this Christmas be a blessed one for you and the new year bring good health, peace  and love.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Our Thanksgiving 2014

What started out as a day to give thanks became a nightmare for me and my little family.

As we all know, planning for a wonderful meal all starts weeks in advance.  Trips to the store, finding that right turkey, making sure you have all of the ingredients for those special dishes....

But our weeks leading up to Thanksgiving day should have been a warning sign for doctors, not just us.

Hannah had been experiencing dizziness for a long time, abdomen pain and nausea then really low blood pressure.  I took her to our family doctor, telling all of Hannah's symptoms and thought we could get to the bottom of it.  Labs were done and all came back normal.  Then a few days later, Hannah was complaining of heart palpitations and I then noticed she had a rapid heart beat.  Then off we go back to our family doctor.  A tilt test was then said what we needed to do next and they would schedule it.  I waited and then 4 days later, I was notified about a MRI being scheduled since a tilt test was not an option because they didn't do them here in our state.

A few days later, we went for her MRI, it only took about 15 minutes and she did fine with it.  But...her BP was even lower and her HR was even higher.  I was told by our family doctor that as long as her heart rate stayed under 100, it called for no concern and for her to increase her fluid intake along with wearing compression stockings. Really?

That's when I requested a cardiologist and got in with the heart DR that diagnosed our oldest, years ago, with vasovegal after passing out while sitting in a beautician's chair having her hair done.  It was also the time she was diagnosed with hashimotos and hypothyroidism.  Long story short, I had to PUSH for the testing when she was diagnosed after suffering with symptoms of feeling like she was dying and like her heart was stopping.

Now back to Hannah's appointment with this cardiologist.  He did a tilt test, and echo and ordered a holter monitor for 24 hours.  He diagnosed her with orthostatic hypotension (which means her BP drops when standing and her HR increases trying to bump up her BP.  Nothing was wrong with her heart function was in perfect working order.  He said nothjing about compression stockings other than how much of a pain they were.  He said 8 12 ounces of non caffeinated fluid need to be drank daily along with 9 hours of sleep would help.  I knew he knew what he was talking about since he helped my oldest daughter years ago.  He knew his stuff!

By this time, it was Thanksgiving morning when she finished her 24 hour testing.  She awoke with pain in her abdomen and was nauseous.  So much so, that it was hard for her to drink or eat anything.  I finally got her to eat a piece of buttered toast and drink some water only to make the pain worse.  She wasn't running a fever, so she laid on the sofa all day.  I took her BP and it was low, so again, I tried pushing the fluids with no real significance.  By the time Dinner was all prepared, she had stated that she was definitely going to enjoy eating Thanksgiving dinner.  She got up, walked about 8 steps to the table and she turned whiter than she normally is, her eyes glassed over and she held her hand over her chest saying that her heart was beating so hard.  Her Dad laid his hand on her chest and said it definitely was.  So back to the sofa.  After resting a bit, I took her pulse and it was 108.  I told her things were ok, went downstairs and began to get ready telling Mike in private that we needed to go to the ER.  Paramedics were called and she was wheeled out since she couldn't walk without being dizzy and her heart beating so fast.  Her HR was then 112 and her BP was even lower.

We made it to the ER, she was given 2 bags of Iv's, told that she was dehydrated and that they were going to run lot's of tests since we told them that we had been dealing with abdomen pain for almost 2 years and the other symptoms were toppling on top of another as time ticked by.  I think we were there for maybe 2 hours and then it was like a light switch had been turned off...they were discharging her.  I won't go into details as to what all happened exactly, but let me say...I am pursuing the hospital.

They discharged her with a HR of 139, she had to be wheeled out and was actually running a low fever.  Can you believe this?  She was worse leaving than when she first came.

That night, she slept with me.  I kept up with her HR and BP...still no better by later that day.  By this time I was furious!  Thinking about the past 2 years trying to figure out what was going on with her and not being taken seriously.  I had stated that my gut told me that it was related to thyroid problems since  my oldest and I share it along with my Dad, his 2 other children, his sister and with Mike's dad.  Still nothing taken seriously.  We were sent home each time the so called tests came back normal.  

So, I made up my mind, we were going to another ER and she was going to be taken care of if I had to do something drastic to be taken seriously.  So off we went and guess what?  She was admitted within the hour!  I didn't have to do anything...the proof was in the pudding as they say.  We were told that she was possibly having a thyroid storm and her blood work stated her TSH and T4 were low along with elevated liver enzymes and low white blood cells.  Hmmm....we were told that they did this blood work at the other ER the previous night.  I had the nurse pull up the blood work since they were connected with the other hospital.  Guess what....nothing was done as they said they did.   We were then told that she was overly hydrated which makes me wonder if she was really dehydrated the night before as they stated.

So, instead of going on about all that we've endured, which would be another 10 pages.  I will state that she spent 3 days in the hospital, is undergoing more specialist testing from a GI, an Endocrinologist, a Cardiologist, a neurologist and a NEW doctor!   And guess what...we have proof that she has thyroid issues, possibly center hypothyroid which has to do with the pituitary gland which that MRI that was ordered didn't even get a good look at since it was just for the whole head.  We were told that it was useless along with other blood work that had been done by our family DR.   If I wouldn't have stuck to my gut, my daughter would have just gotten worse and then possibly could have had a heart attack because of her rapid pulse.  I had a break down, lost myself for a moment and then cried out to God.  He has been leading us to the right doctors and we are finally getting Hannah back.  The poor kid has had every symptom of hypothyroidism along with hyper.  Finally someone is listening and doing the right tests.  I thank God for it all and for the doctors that have helped us.

My husband, Mom, oldest daughter and Hannah's boyfriend were all there for her and for me.  I stayed by her side and even slept with her.  My girls are my life and I will do anything to protect them and keep them healthy.  So please, once again, I am asking for prayers for all of us.  I am having thyroid problems that require a specialist out of state, but I have to be here for her testing and to get her well before I can go.  Sorry for the long book, but thanks for listening.