Welcome!

This blog was inspired by 31 for 21 & is about my wonderful family.

"As a mother, my job is to take care of what is possible & trust God with the impossible." ~Ruth Bell Graham

"Never look down on someone, unless you're helping them up!"

Monday, August 12, 2013

Pride, worry, sadness, grief, & thanfulness...

     This day is filled with emotions for me.  Pride, worry, sadness, grief, & thanfulness just to name a few.  You wouldn't think that one day could bring such an array of feelings.
     Pride.  My baby started his junior year of high school this morning.  He has 3 honors classes this year, which makes me so proud...busting at the seams proud.  :)  I am also so proud of my little warrior, Troy.  This time 4 years ago, he was fighting for his life.  He fought harder than words can explain to be here today.  His recovery is nothing short of a miracle.  I am so very proud that I have such a strong son.
     Worry.  My son drove himself to school for the very first time today.  After driving him to school every year (except the 3 years I home schooled him), I sat in my living room as I heard him crank his truck & drive off by himself.  Would he make it to his destination?  Would he be on time to his first class?  All of these things were in my hands every year before, now they are in his hands.  Along with those honors classes comes great responsibility.  Not only does he have to juggle 7 classes, but he also has to find the time to do his homework & study, all while holding a job, too. 
     Sadness.  My 7 lb 3.5 oz baby is growing up...growing up WAY too fast.  It feels like he was born just yesterday, now he is embarking on his junior year of high school.  He will soon graduate, start college & his own life.  :'(  To think, what if Troy's journey would have ended 4 years ago.  What if his job on Earth was done & I wouldn't see him again this side of Heaven.  Because that is just what the doctors said would happen.  We were told he wouldn't survive. 
     Grief.  I look back on that dreadful day.  No parent ever wants to hear the words "CODE BLUE" called for their child.  I will never forget that Troy's surgeon 'just so happened to walk by' his room as the code was called.  He ran in, along with 15 other doctors & nurses, to work on my son.  Dr. Kogon had no idea that the code was called for Troy...he had no idea that child was his patient in the seconds this happened.  He just ran in to help out, then he realized it was his patient when he saw Troy.  They quickly intubated Troy & a nurse pumped the bag to push breath in his body.  They whisked Troy away to the CICU where they had the tools to help him.  We had no idea if Troy was still fighting for his life or if God had called him home.  We had to wait in his hospital room until someone came to tell us the outcome.  I grieved for my son, even though I didn't know if he was alive or not.  My heart hurt more in those hours than it has ever hurt in my life.  Now, 4 years later, my heart grieves for what could have been.
     Thankfulness.  Chancey is growing into a fine young man.  He truly is a good person with a kind heart.  I am so blessed to have him, Troy, Mackenna, & a fantastic husband.  I am elated that God had other plans for Troy & that He spared my son's life.  I am so thankful to be here...to actually feel these emotions on this day.     
   

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Private or public

     A friend of mine got me thinking (I know, help us all).  Maybe I shouldn't be telling the world about all of my struggles.  Perhaps I am giving out too much information & maybe people honestly do not want to hear my problems.  After all, I am supposed to be a positive person.  A strong Christian who puts all of her faith in God.

     But that's just it.  I am a strong, positive Christian & I do put all of my faith in God.  I did have a moment of weakness, where I questioned God, but I begged Him for forgiveness & I am over that.  I am not perfect, don't claim to be, but I am trying to be the best person I can be.

     If you examine my life, you will see that I have been through countless struggles.  Some of them were horrendous & as I look back, I wonder how I got through them, so do most people.  But I KNOW how I made it past those road blocks...God.  He gave me the map, held my hand, & walked beside me through those obstacles.  He didn't say, "here, figure it out."  He knew what was waiting ahead of those obstacles if only I were faithful & trusted in Him.

     Now there are a lot of things in my life that only a select few know about or know the exact details.  Those things I like to keep private, so I do.  Some things are just too private or painful.  But trust me, God brought me through those road blocks, too.  A few of those obstacles will always remain on my road, but I've learned to maneuver around them.

     If I keep quiet about my struggles, how can I tell the world how wonderful my God is?  How can people learn from me if I remain silent?  It's my job as a Christian to witness to people & this is the best way I can do just that to many people.

     My blog & facebook posts aren't aimed to get people to feel sorry for me.  I don't want sympathy.  I'm not trying to "air my dirty laundry" here.  I just want people to see the obstacles in my path right now so they can see my blessings to come.  If you follow my blog, then you have seen God's hand in my life.  That is my purpose for writing these entries.  To help encourage others & help everyone know God as I do.

     Perhaps I should be more private.  I may make too much of my life public.  But if I remain silent, how can you see how faithful God is?  How can anyone believe in the miracles God is working in my life if I don't tell them?  That's how The Holy Bible was written, by people talking about God.  My life no where near compares to The Holy Bible, but it is a testament to God.

*to my friend who 'got me thinking':  please don't think I am bashing you, hon.  I'm not.  I value you as a friend & I value your opinion.  You just got those old rusty wheels turning in my brain. ♥
    

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

MY son? NO!

     Yesterday, I was sitting in the waiting room, patiently waiting to receive full x-rays of my entire spine & my cell phone rings.  I would usually just let it go to voicemail & return the call afterwards (I think it is so rude to talk on the phone at public places like that), but I noticed it was my son's school, so I answered it.  It was the vice principal.  Once she identified herself, I was nervous.  I just thought to myself, "Lord, help us...someone has made fun of his brother & he beat them down."

     If you know my son, you know that he is the most wonderful teenager on the planet.  He is well mannered, caring, loving, tender-hearted, God fearing, & very empathetic.  He usually minds his own business, unless he sees someone getting hurt, then he will step in.  But, when it comes to his little brother, you just better not mess with him.  If you are going to speak about him negatively, Chancey will go off on you very QUICKLY.  So that is why that came to my mind immediately.

     But that wasn't what she was calling me about.  She was calling because a student advised one of the faculty members at school that MY son was bullying another student!  Wait, MY son is bullying someone?  The same young man who was teased for being different at his former school?  The same young man who advocates daily against bullying & for equal rights?  No.  NEVER!!

     As she was telling me this, I was in utter disbelief.  There is just no way Chancey bullied anyone!  Then she says to me "Mrs. Forrester, I want you to know that we DO NOT believe that Chancey bullied this student.  We just have to take each complaint of bullying seriously, therefore we have to investigate.  I can not tell you the name of the student, but I can tell you that he is no longer at our school.  It's just my job to tell you about the situation."

     I knew Chancey wouldn't do such a thing.  I began to tell her that Chancey has a little brother with Down syndrome, so I know he would never bully anyone.  BUT that I appreciate the fact that they are taking the complaint of bullying seriously, because so many children are truly victims of bullying.

     It made me so angry that someone would accuse my baby of being a bully.  But most of all, it makes me so angry that anyone would accuse someone of bullying, just to get attention or to just someone in trouble that they don't like.  There are people who are truly getting bullied that need the faculty to help them, not waste their time on false accusations.  I mean, seriously, haven't we all heard of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf?"

     So, please, teach your children AND teenagers NOT to "cry wolf" when it comes to bullying.  Take my experience to heart & talk to your children AND teens about bullying.  Tell them NOT to bully anyone, PERIOD.  Don't tease people for being different...you don't know their situation, so don't judge or tease anyone, EVER.  But if they are being bullied or the witness anyone being bullied, tell an adult immediately.  And as adults, we need to remember to never judge anyone...our kids are watching & learning from our actions.  


Friday, March 22, 2013

A S H A M E D!

     I am a firm believer that God has a reason for everything.  Some people question that.  Especially when horrible things happen.  Death, illness, suffering, severed families...these are some things that many people ask "why would God do this to me?'  I wish I had the answers.  But I don't.  I just believe that God has His reasons & we have to trust in Him.

     I have suffered great trials in my 37 years on this earth, but God has brought me through each & every one of them.  I've suffered physically, emotionally, & mentally.  I have overcome many injuries, illnesses, death.  I suffer on a daily basis, but God gets me through.

     I am ashamed to admit that this past week, I questioned God.  There have been a few times in my life when I questioned Him...4 times, as a matter of fact, & sadly, this was the 4th time.  I was just so angry, so exhausted in every aspect, so disappointed.  I just hit my breaking point & now I am so broken hearted that I did.  I feel like I've let God down.

     A few days after my 'argument' with God, it hit me.  EVERYTHING happens for a reason.  I had said this over & over to myself during these past 6 months, but my ignorant self couldn't comprehend the answer that was staring in my face!  If I had not had the cancer scare, I wouldn't be praising His name for NOT having cancer.  Sounds weird, I know...but I get it.  If I wouldn't have had chest pains, I would have never went to the doctor....which is the reason I lost my disability (or at least that is what I think happened).  Now that I am going to several doctors, they can attest to my health problems & I should be able to appeal this decision about my disability.

     Just think about it.  I despise doctors.  I won't go unless I am absolutely dying...my family can attest to that.  I just don't trust them & I surely can't afford to pay their rates.  But spiking my blood pressure, causing a heart attack, got my tail to the doctor.  Who sent me to a cardiologist & a primary care doctor...who is sending me to a pain management doctor.  My PCP was amazed at my history & agrees that I can not work.  She was shocked that I'm not on pain medication 24/7.

     That heart attack could have been fatal.  God could've brought me Home right then, but He didn't.  He knows that I am stubborn...He knows I can endure a lot of pain, so He went for the one thing He knew that Mack would force me to go to the ER with, my ticker.  Therefore, His will was done.

     Sure, this appeal process is going to be a total pain & so stressful.  But I believe that God will see us through this & we will be victorious.  I just have to keep taking my broken down self to see my doctors, whether I like it or not.

     God has brought me through so much more than this trial.  I know He will bring us through this.  Perhaps he has something better in store for my family!  :)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

WHERE IS OUR RAINBOW?

     Can we get a break?  Seriously?  Just a step in that direction would be wonderful.  It seems like we have bad thing after bad thing happen to us.  And by bad things, I'm not talking about stubbing my toe or spilling some milk.  I'm talking bad things.

     If you've been following my blog or my facebook account, then you know what all has happened these past few months.  If not, see my previous post titled 'Satan 23, Forrester family 0.'

     Well, satan is STLL staring right in our faces again, laughing.  I received a letter yesterday stating that my disability is being cut off as of this month.  This money pays half of our bills!

     I honestly don't know what their decision is based upon.  Three different doctors deem me to be disabled due to my back & my chronic pancreatitis.  I am just in total disbelief.

     I realize that things could be worse.  I know that I am very blessed to have a wonderful, loving, faithful, hard working husband.  I know that I am also blessed to have three perfect, awesomely beautiful children.  We have a roof over our head & transportation (for now), food, & all of the necessities in life.  But I just feel like screaming!  I just want to wake up from this horrible nightmare!!!  Is that too much to ask?  I am just so mentally, physically, emotionally, & spiritually exhausted.  I went from standing to kneeling in prayer over 5 months ago.  God is beyond carrying me at this point!

     I don't know what we will do, but I know that God will provide.  I can see all of those nasty storm clouds.  They've been lingering for nearly half a year, pouring rain, sending lightning, thunder, & tornadoes right over us...where is our rainbow?  I may not see the silver lining at the moment, but it's there.  I just have to endure this, yet another set back, to receive my 'pot of gold' (my reward for being faithful & not giving up).  I am praying that this is the last set back before the reward comes.  But this is a very stressful time for my family.  Nah, stressful doesn't begin to describe it!  This new burden has made us even more weary, so please keep us in your prayers. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Satan 23, Forrester family 0

     The past month has been nothing short of a whirlwind!  It's like things just keep piling on my family.  I know it's satan trying to break us.  I know that my family will stand victorious.  And I know that we will be so much stonger for overcoming these battles.  I just wish satan would retreat already!

     Our round of attacks began in November.  I found out that I may lose my disability pay.  I had to have a physical & then a decision would be made based on the results of that physical.  As of today, no decision has been made, to my knowledge.

     Then in December, Troy & Mackenna became very ill.  They were sick for over a month & none of the medications were helping them at all.  They finally turned the corner just before Troy's 4th birthday.

     Since then, satan has been standing in front of us with a sling shot!  And it seems like he's got a perfect aim!  So far, the score board reads: satan 23, Forrester family 0!

     I went last Wednesday for further testing on my heart.  I received the results of those tests on Monday.  Turns out that I have had a heart attack.  I don't know if it was when the chest pains began about 4-5 weeks ago, or if it was when I went to the ER for it on 2/16/13.  My blood pressure is not being controlled by the medication that my cardiologist put me on.  He told me that I could have many more heart attacks from this if we can't get it under control.  {On Monday, my BP was 150/106)  He doubled the dosage of my medication & told me to monitor my blood pressure & call him with those results on Friday.  If this medication isn't controlling it, he will have to intervene further.  He told me to take it easy.  No stress, no activity, just rest & relax until we can get this under control.  I just laughed at him.  I don't know how in the world anyone can live without stress.  And who in the world can just sit back & relax all day, everyday?  

     No stress.  Could someone explain to me how you do that?  Honestly, I'd love to know.  My husband says to me "Oh, you just do it.  Just sit on the couch & relax.  Don't do anything.  And stop worrying"  Sure, that's doable. 

     Here's what is on my plate at the moment:  1) I have chest pains daily...to the point where I have to take Nitroglycerin.  2) The Nitro pills cause me to have a HUGE headache on top of the headache I've had for a week due to 3) the muscle knots in my neck & shoulder.  4) I have plantar fascitiis that hasn't stopped hurting, in fact it's getting worse...had it for 8 months now. 5) The doctor bills are rolling in & piling up with more to follow so 6) I can't go to the doctor about these headaches, the muscle knots, 7) my chronic back & hip pain & plantar fasciitis 8) or the broken molar that I need pulled.  9) I may lose my disability pay, which will put us in a real bind.  10) My oldest son will be 16 in 9 days which means that 11) he'll be driving on his own.  12) He's failing Math II & 13) I can not stand his teacher.  14) My youngest son has a heart condition that I have to monitor 24/7!  15) I am on my own doing his therapies because  16) we can't find anyone who will actually help him.  17) I have a 10 (almost 11) month old daughter to raise (that I feel I'm failing miserably).  18) I have the most amazing husband...I also fail him miserably too.  He married a dud.  19I can't sleep.  I used to take 30mg of Melatonin until Dr. Oz said to stop using it....now I take 4 tsp of liquid Benadryl every night to even get a few hours of rest.  20) My husband's truck needs fixing, but he 21) can't take the time to fix it because of me.  22)  I am trying my best to keep this household running smoothly.  23)  And now Troy is getting another cold.  All of this following a miscarriage & a cancer scare.

     I so need a vacationBut it's like this (what I told my doctor when he suggested it).  When I do get a vacation, I feel like when I return from the vacation, that I need another vacation to recuperate from that vacationShoot, a date night with my husband would be fantastic...but then I would worry about my babies the entire time.  So it would be null & void.

     You know how you hear some people say "what else can happen to me?"  That's how I feel, but I KNOW that things could be so much worse!!!  And I would so much rather all of this pile up on me than my kids.  I just wish that it wasn't piling up on my husband, too.  He has been through enough! 

     I know that God is standing right beside me, holding my hand.  I am not doubting that one single bit.  Just please, keep us in your prayers.  We need them more than ever.  This situation with my heart is very serious & really scary.  

            

Monday, February 25, 2013

Update

     This past month has been so difficult for me & my family.  I lost my precious Harper, just 7 weeks into my pregnancy.  Then, just days later, I found a lump in my breast.  I called my doctor & he wanted to see me the next day.  He found the mass & described it as the size of pea gravel.  He was very concerned, so he sent me for my very first mammogram, followed by an ultrasound. 

     Cancer?  At the age of 36?  Breast cancer?  No one in my immediate family has had breast cancer.  One of my great aunts had it over 20 years ago...but the strides that have been made over the past few years.  Why do I have to put my family through ANOTHER obstacle?  What will happen to my kids?  Who will take care of them when I'm in chemo & so sick afterwards?  WaitChemo...what will that do to my pancreas?  We can't afford for Mack to be out of work for this.  Wait!  We just bought a house, we can't afford this at all.  I'm going to make us lose another house just after purchasing it!  No..no..no!  Be gone, Satan!  I'm not afraidI'll fight this with every fiber of my being, I've fought an equally tough battle before & came out victorious!  I have to be here for Mack & our kids...& my nephew & niece.  If God thinks it's my time, I'm going to make the best of what I have left with my family.  These were just some of the thoughts that raced through my mind over those weeks of waiting.

     I waited until I went to the doctor & he was concerned, before I told anyone.  Really, the only people who knew about my findings were Mack, my dear friend, & my mother in law.  I even kept it from Chancey, my oldest son.  I didn't want him to worry if it was just a cyst.  After all, cysts are very common.  My mother has them, so does my mother in law.  He needed to focus on school...he needed to be a normal teenager, after all, my illness took most of his childhood!  But once my doctor was concerned, the first person I told was Chancey.  He was mad, as I figured he would be.  But the next day, he wore his pink shirt along with pink breast cancer awareness socks to school to show his support for me.  That made my soul smile.  :)  But still, I hated to have to tell him.  He has watched me suffer so much & there was a time when we all thought I wouldn't live to see past the age of 30.  :(  My husband asked our Sunday school teacher & our associate pastor to pray for me, as well as some of our friends & family.  I know that God is the One & only Great Physician, so I laid it at His feet. 

     Then the call came in.  It was my doctor.  He told me that not only was the mass benign, but it was GONE!  I had nothing to worry about!  NOTHING!  No further procedures, no worrying, NO CANCER!  NO CANCER...NO CANCER...NO CANCER!  I hit my knees & thanked my Lord & Savior for healing me.  I thanked Him for not putting my family through that again.  Then I just couldn't wait to tell everyone the news...everyone who asked.

     But Satan had one more weapon in his belt.  He wants me to question the Lord & to stray from Him.  Not only is he attacking me, but he's attacking my family & I will NOT stand for that!  We stand firm with the Lord during the glorious days & during the storms!  One day, Satan will learn that & leave us alone, even if it isn't this side of Heaven.

     I had been having chest pain for about 2, maybe 2 1/2 weeks.  I chalked it up to the crushed T6 vertebrae in my back.  I figured if it was my heart, the pain wouldn't come & go.  So I just ignored it.  That was until I went to a doctor for a mandatory physical for Social Security.  They checked my blood pressure & the doctor asked me if I had hypertension.  I told her that I have never had high blood pressure...it's usually 110/70 unless I'm in severe pain, then it's elevated.  She advised me that it was 160/131.  I advised her about the chest pain I had been having & she said that I needed to go to the ER, ASAP!

     I really didn't think anything else about it until the chest pain began again about an hour after thatMy husband made me go to our local CVS to check my BP again later that afternoon.  It was 172/97.  He called his mama to come watch the kids & we went to the ER

     My BP was still elevated at the ER.  They did an EKG immediately & put me in a bed.  They ran further tests & administered 2 baby aspirin & a nitroglycerin pill.  They wanted to keep me for observation, but they couldn't tell me what was going on.  I didn't have a clot, which was my concern since I have anticardiolipin antibodies.  They didn't think I had a heart attack because the 2 sets of blood work did not indicate that.  So I told them I was going home.  My kids needed me more that I needed to be at the hospital.  They wanted me to stay & repeat blood work, as a heart attack doesn't always show up in blood work for 12 hours.  I was adamant on leaving, so I was advised to follow up with a cardiologist within 3-5 days & a PCP in the same time frame.

     I went to a cardiologist 3 days later.  He brushed it off & said that he'd run some tests, but that I needed to go to a PCP to monitor my blood pressure, it was still high.  I was beyond furious!  He sat in his little chair with his back to me the entire time, while typing on his computer!  I think I had to explain to him that I have chronic pancreatitis 9 times & why I have it.  He gave me a paper on the DASH diet, which is supposed to help my BP.  Proof positive that he didn't listen to one word I said (I have to be on a strict diet with my pancreatitis...if I go off of it, my pancreas flares up & I become VIOLENTLY ill)!  I was so mad that I cried the whole way home!  My already hurting heart was broken in to pieces!

     My family was so furious about that ignorant doctor, but they all wanted me to go for a second opinion.  So I called another doctor that a friend recommended to me.  He wanted to see me immediately, & I mean within the hour.  He even left his rounds at the hospital to come see me.  He was awesome, truly awesome!  He told me that if heart disease runs in my family, that genetics will take over, no matter how hard you try to prevent it.  He agreed that something is going on & wants me to go for further tests that he scheduled for this Wednesday.  He gave me some samples of blood pressure medication & called in the same medication along with some nitroglycerin pills.

     I know that God is in control & He will see me through what ever happens with this.  I just hate that my family has to go through yet ANOTHER trial because of me...AGAIN!  So if you pray, please keep them all in your prayers.  They need strength & patience.  Also please pray that God will give Dr. Ashfaq the wisdom to see what is going on with my body.  Thank you in advance.