Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Years Eve

I spent a few hours this evening with dad. He is worse than yesterday, the tube is back in and alot more stuff is backing up. He looks weaker also. He complained to me of pain today for the first time.....and he desperately wants a cup of coffee.

He also looked at me at one point and said "I am dying"....which just broke my heart. I feel like things aren't good and perhaps I agree, and I just wish he had better circumstances. Hell if he is dying, can I just give him a cup of coffee.....

Despite all the uncomfort of being in a bed for a week with a tube down his nose to his stomach dad is doing remarkably well....esp considering he is quite the hard hospital patient normally. When he was getting upset or in alot of pain he started to pray. He didn't cuss or yell at anyone and he smiled alot. He is kind of out of it as he keeps saying he is ready to walk back to his bedroom.

Tomorrow is Andy's last day off and then its back to work for him, so I will need to plan my visits with dad better so Sarah has someone to watch her.

Thanks for your prayers. My personal opinion, is that dad won't leave the hospital, but I haven't spoken with a doctor so who knows. My sister is the official doctor contact so unless I happen to catch the doctor when I am at the hospital, then she won't call me, she would call my sister....this is VERY frustrating to me, but I know where she is coming from.

Peace to all this last day of 2008.

Tube is back in

I went to see dad last evening and while it was great that the tube was out of his nose, it was hard to watch him cough up the icky bile. I got to clean him up and vaccum it out of his mouth. He was in great spirits though, but was complaining of pain for the first time I have seen him since Saturday.....pain was in his stomach so not sure if it was his stomach or the blockage in the intestines or his hernia.

My sister told me this morning his tube is back in. I had a feeling with the frequency of his coughing it would make a return. I asked the nurse what exactly the tube was doing and she said emptying out his stomach since he has blockage in the intestines it helps keep things moving. She also said he doesn't look as good today as yesterday....he was really resting despite and in good spirits.....he was being very cooperative, he hates hospitals and can get rather testy, but he was doing well.

I am off to the store with Sarah and then off to visit dad.

Now for a little whine from me...I am exhausted, I don't know what to think. I have idea how to process this. I feel I have no hope. Depression has set in and I don't know what to do to make it go away. Its not about me I know.....I am just numb.

I have been thinking of the Mark Shultz Song He will Carry Me.... Particularly "You never said it would be easy, but you said you'd see me through the storm". I need to hold on to my faith right now.

He Will Carry Me by Mark Shultz

I call, You hear me I've lost it all And it's more then I can bear I feel so empty
You're strong, I'm weary I'm holding on But I feel like giving in
But still You're with me

(Pre-chorus and Chorus)And even though I'm walking Through the valley of the shadow
I will hold tight to the hand of Him Whose love will comfort me
And when all hope is gone And I've been wounded in the battle
He is all the strength that I will ever need He will carry meI

know I'm broken But You alone Can mend this heart of mine You're always with me
And even though I'm walking Through the valley of the shadowI will hold tight to the hand of Him Whose love will comfort me
And when all hope is goneAnd I've been wounded in the battle He is all the strength that I will ever need
He will carry me He will carry me

And even though I feel so lonely Like I have never been before You never said it would be easy But You said You'd see me through the storm
And even though I'm walking Through the valley of the shadow I will hold tight to the hand of Him Whose love will comfort me And when all hope is gone And I've been wounded in the battle He is all the strength that I will ever need

He will carry me He will carry me He will carry me

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Miraculous Movement

Good news and had a bowel movement! This means that his intestines are not fully blocked and blood is flowing as it should be. My sister told me he is resting and looks good, just weak. He is still a little confused, but that is just his normal state these days. He keeps asking to go lay down in his bed.

To recap:
Hernia......not near as big as it was nor inflamed. But its still pretty big. No surgery will be performed, though it is needed. Trying to heal with nonsurgical means.

Ulcer....the bleeding is much less and he isn't getting sick, so no tube to pump stomach needed. This is the best news, as he kept pulling it out and it had to hurt being put back in. Plus who wants a tube sticking out of their nose that goes down to the stomach....makes me gag thinking about it!

Intestinal Blockage...things are moving!

I am about to head out to visit him a while, just thought I would share the good news.

Please keep praying, I am still very down about things......I may appear strong, but heck I am human and asking why is dad going through this, why did I have to give up my xmas vacation and all the fun things we had planned. Yeah I know, sounds selfish, but I thought I would confess. Both my sister and I are tired, this is so emotional for us.

On a positive note when Fr Fabio gave dad the last rites on Thursday , he told my sister to forgive dad of anything she was carrying around and to also ask if he needed her forgiveness and to let him know it was OK to go. That was some great advice as I did this also when I got back and you know it felt good. Maybe the life lesson here we shouldn't carry stuff around with us and wait until its too late to let it go..... if we are sorry for something we have done to our loved ones, why not just let them know.

Delta was great at getting us back, though I lost my phone, I think it fell out of my purse on the plane ....which is OK, it was old anyway and I need a new one. The hospital is fantastic, what a great staff. Kind of renews your hope in humans to see others taking such compassionate care of the sick AND attending to the families.

I talked to dad's old church and they will be praying for him. I also contacted the church that covers the hospital and dad is on the list of receiving communion when they go visit. That makes me happy as dad loves receiving Jesus!

I am so glad things are moving as he must feel SO much better! The tube has been out all day also, THANK YOU LORD! I am thinking yesterday I was too doom and gloom in my post.....maybe he will be going back to his community, though in a different area. I know he will NOT be happy about that, but we will cross that bridge later.

Please keep praying for us. My dad's name is Jack and he is NOT the best of patients and he hates hospitals....but so far he is doing OK considering. He is still restrained in the bed, but its for the best.

I will keep you updated.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Dad Update 12.29.08

Spent all day at the hospital waiting to talk to the doctor. I never saw her which was very frustrating as its hard to know how things are going.

Dad looked better, though he looked very weak and he slept on and off all day. He was much more lucid today...he would talk a little and nod off. He still had the tube in his nose to his stomach which he was trying to take out before I left....he had taken it out in the morning.

My sister spoke with the doctor tonight......

He is doing better, there is much less liquid accumulating in his stomach. They are going to take him off the nose tube and if he doesn't vomit, it will stay out. The fluid coming out seemed less bloody, so the ulcer has perhaps healed a little anyway.

They blockage is still there. He hasn't had a bowel movement in many days.

His hernia looks better, but its still about the size of a grapefruit and bulges out above the groin area. It is not as inflamed as it was when he checked in. It needs surgery but due to dad's age, his health and his living will....he does not want to be put on a ventilator which would be required for recovery, its out of the question. The doctor thinks he would not make it through he surgery and that the hernia would come back quickly so no surgery for dad.

What does this mean? Well if he remains blocked in his intestines at some point the blood flowing down to the tissue will back up and create havoc for some other part of his body. He will be in the hospital for 2 weeks and then perhaps will get moved to the nursing unit where he was living before...which he was in assisted living. My personal assessment, is that he is slowly dying and the end is imminent...well we are all dying, but dad's time is very short.

It bothers me to see him laying in bed, but at least the tube to his stomach will come out. He doesn't seem to be in any pain. He really wants to walk and go to mass.....I guess I will take care of getting him communion. I am in tears thinking he may not be able to go for his walks. He is on a feeding tube and he keeps asking for something to drink.....all I can do is give him sips of water.

I am also very sad that when Andy goes back to work next week, I will have very limited time to go sit with dad and the thought of him being alone in the hospital at what is probably the end of his life really depresses me. I know I have my life to live, but I don't want dad to be depressed and lonely in the hospital.

Perhaps my assessment is too doom and gloom. Perhaps he will make it longer and will be able to use a walker. Perhaps he will go back to his retirement community...though he will most assuredly be moved to the skilled nursing unit. Perhaps he will come off the feeding tube and be able to eat again. I don't know.

I am emotionally spent, prayers please!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Dad update

I spent a lot of time today with Dad at the hospital......most of the day and a couple hours this evening. Its not easy sitting with him, he looks so frail and is out of it. He keeps pulling the tube out of his nose which drains his stomach...he is blocked in his intestines so this tube is keeping things moving out. I am sure its NOT comfortable. He was trying to get out of bed tonight to leave and go home. He is so weak and confused, he can't lift the blanket off his body. Because he keeps trying to pull the tube out and "escape", they have him restrained in the bed...which I totally understand, but its so sad. He is also seeing things and people that well, I didn't see. Uncle Jim, if you were with us tonight, thanks for beign there for Dad....FYI Uncle Jim dad's brother died many years ago and dad asked Jim for help and told me he was there as he pointed to the corner. H was also trying to eat food that wasn't there -its all so hard.

The doctor this morning said he remarkedly looked better, but things were still grave and if he is still hanging in on Monday we need to start taking hospice.

I prayed to dad alot....we did the divine mercy chaplet, scriptural stations of the cross, rosary and I read a bunch of prayers. I also sang with him Salve Regina, which calmed him down and had him singing. One of the nurses actually stopped by the door to watch us sing. I asked him if he liked me reading to him and he said "no"..oh well......

I am so tired, its hard to witness this and then come home and take care of a 2 year old. OK I am off to eat a piece of carrot cake, got to have my veggies, and off to bed. I am looking forward to going to Mass tomorrow to see my faithful friends at church.

Thank you all for your encouragement and prayers, they are helping keep me sane. Pray for Andy who has extra Sarah duty and had a visit with his family cut short to deal with dad.

God, I know you have a purpose for everything, and your will be done, but please have mercy on my dad and get him out of that bed. If he can never walk outside again to enjoy your creation, please take him to your paradise. Its hard seeing him as an invalid, please give me strength and peace.


So after a 3 hour delay due to a mechanical issue with the plane we are home.....I felt good we FINALLY got a new plane, but not so great about our arrival time in the ATL. Props to Delta who changed our return flight with NO fee, they did confirm with the hospital that dad was there though. They were also very nice about the delay, and we got free headsets and tons of snacks and the whole can to drink. Wahoo!

Its late and I know I need to go to bed, but the thought of me going to the hospital in the morning to see my dad on his "deathbed" is not so appealing. I am happy dad had last rites today which I am glad. My sister told me the priest told her to tell dad its ok to leave us, which we are both fine with as he is ready and we don't want to see him infirmed. He also told her to tell him she forgave him for anything she needed to and to ask for him to forgive her for anything he needed to...which you know is nice, I will do the same in the morning. I do feel as though I haven't been seeing dad enough, so I will tell him and ask him to please forgive me.

I saw dad on Monday, I went to the store for him. It was so cold, I just shopped for him and dropped the stuff off. When I was leaving he asked if I would take him for a ride, so I did, albeit a short one...which of course I now regret. When we said goodbye, sarah was with me, I told her to say goodbye to grandpa and she said "By Poppa"....which is the first time she has said poppa. She also gave him a hug and kiss which makes me feel good, it was a special moment. I will say, when I left him I was crying, he did seem kind of off to me....more spacy than normal.

The doctors don't know how long he will last but my sister told me today that one of the doctors said it was just a matter of days at this point.

Off to bed I go................... another long day tomorrow.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Coming home

I am headed home. They don't think my dad will leave the hospital alive but we don't know how long he has. I am hoping I can make it home in time...though its not that dire right now according to my sister.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Prayers Needed

My dad is in the hospital. He has not eaten for a couple days and told me yesterday over the phone he felt very "puny", and ill and tired. I am out visiting my in laws on the other side of the country. My sister left me a voice mail that they took dad to the hospital this morning as he looked horrible. I spoke with my brother in law and we are awaiting tests to be ran, there might be some kind of intestinal blockage. Dad is 82 and when I saw him on Monday he looked kind of out of it to me.

Please pray for my dad that if its his time, he goes peacefully. If he gets better I pray that he will be able to enjoy the rest of his life....he is in assisted living now, and can walk I just don't want him to become and invalid. Yet its not my will....what will happen will happen.

Please pray for my sister and her family who are alone dealing with this on Christmas. I feel helpless out here and I just wish I was with my sister right now as we are the only siblings left in my family and I hate that this is happening on Christmas as its one of her favorite days....she totally embodies the Christmas spirit.

OK, back to the family party I go.....only Andy knows what is going on.

What a Man Wednesday.....Its Christmas, so who else. could it be

As a Christian, today of all days, how can I not pick the man of the week as Jesus Christ. Son of God, son of Man, friend to all. Even if you are not a believer, this dude surrounded himself with those who others wanted nothing to do with. He cared about ALL mankind and women also. He loved us so much he died for us. Today I wish you all a Merry Christmas and give props to Jesus. Thanks for dying for us.

Dear Jesus, please remember all those who are reading this blog when you come again.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

44 Things I love about being Catholic...#8 Reconciliation

Its been a while since I have blogged a reason I love being Catholic, as it has been a while since I went to confession..... BLESS ME FATHER FOR I HAVE SINNED.......sounds funny doesn't it to ask for a blessing when saying you have turned against God.

One criticism we Catholics faces is "confession". I think its a misunderstood sacrament that gets a bad its OK to sin knowing you can confess and then go out and do it again...that is NOT really how it works. You can't confess something you aren't sorry about and that you plan on doing again....I mean what is there to forgive in that? And I have heard MANY times "I don't need someone to tell me God forgives me, I ask directly for forgiveness". Well we all have opinions, I love the GRACE I receive when I participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation....also known as Penance or Reconciliation.

The act itself involves the examination of conscience, so periodically - however often you go to confession,-you sit and think of what you have done to keep you from God. Without the sacrament, I honestly don't think I would do this. Sure I might commit a sin and ask God for forgiveness for that sin....but I don't think I would really reflect and try to think of the many things that turn me away from God. When you start to think, its scary how long the list easily comes. Especially the little things....which to me can be the scariest as unreconciled can get bigger and bigger. The examination of conscience really keeps things in check.

To physically sit in the presence of the priest who is God's agent and disciple and to say out loud the sins committed is hard.....think of how hard it will be to face God himself at the end of life. I think saying these things aloud really does help in the "boy I have screwed up" department as we are admitting our downfalls AND our desires to become closer to God. In the sacrament, you say what you have done to offend our heavenly Father, you ask forgiveness and pray with the priest. The priest is has the task of giving you your penance to try to compensate for the offense. He is not the one who forgives, its God who forgives, he just serves as God's agent.

I don't go to confession often enough - I went today for the first time in 3 or 4 months. Technically you only have to go once a year, but if you are in a state of sin, you should not receive holy communion at Mass. I think for the new year I am going to try and make it monthly. About a month ago, I thought of a few sins I had committed and how I should not be receiving communion....that's a whole other post..... So I decided to stop going to communion at mass until I had been to confession. I would go up for a blessing, but not to consume the Holy Eucharist. I don't know why I have such a hard time making it the confessional.....but I finally went today after mass.

The cool thing is....I will receive communion, the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, at the Christmas Vigil Mass next. Talk about symbolic, during the season of awaiting the coming of our Lord. I will receive him for the first time in a while at the very mass we celebrate his arrival. I have been restraining myself, because I realized how precious the holy Eucharist is and I also realized for so many years, with my habit of not going to confession, how I was not respecting Holy Eucharist by consuming in a state of sin. For me, denying myself communion really put into perspective how sin separates us from Christ. Even though I could get a blessing at mass, which I most gladly accepted, it made me think of how sin affected my relationship with God and his son.

I have never felt God's grace stronger in my life than after confession....especially the one where I had been away from the church for so many years. The best thing about reconciliation is that it totally wipes our sins away.....not just offers forgiveness, but through the holy spirit we are truly cleansed and the ugliness of our sin is gone.

OK, so if you have made it here......may the Peace of our Lord be with you, as we celebrate the coming of our Savior this week......think of how awesome it is 2000 years later, we can be cleansed the sacrament and made in a state worthy to receive his most precious body. Through reconciliation, its all wiped away and we are made a new.

1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas In Atlanta

Being one of the few natives, thought I would share what it has been like for me growing up in Atanta....

Riding the Pink Pig...the real one, the monorail over the roof of Rich's downtown.

Visiting the Santa at Sears in the site of Nava, one of Andy and my favorite places to go out on a date.

Rich's Great Tree Downtown...we would drive down on Christmas Eve to look at it, and guess what....Santa always came while we were driving looking at the lights.

"What time is the Midnight mass"...this is the most popular question asked when you work at the Catholic Church of people calling in. Mom was secretary and I worked part time, our answer "the doors open at 10, the choir starts singing at 11,mass starts at midnight, get there early if you want a seat"...I have no idea what the answer is these days as its always been too crowded for me, we go to the vigil service around 4 or 4:30. It is still a family joke for us to say "what time is the midnight mass"...well DUH!

Egg Nog Ice Cream.

Driving around Buckhead looking at christmas lights.

Eating McDonalds on Christmas Eve...before riding downtown. I hated meat, so I just got fries. Mom never made dinner on xmas eve.

Listening to the radio station that had the satellite tracking Santa.

Mom save me from this freaky dude......

You know having your kid's picture taken with the fun loving mascot of your college sounds great, especially when one of her favorite books is about said mascot. Well apparently seeing him up close is NOT the same as in the book. Sarah was so scared of Buzz.....which the Georgia Bulldogs should have been this year.....GT 45-UGA 42. I printed out the photo and its hanging with some other holiday pics, and now when she sees the photo I get a big smile and she says "Buzz".....go figure.

CAPTION: This dude is NOTHING like my cute Buzz in the book - get me outa here!

Feel free to insert your own caption in my comments.

Merry Christmas.....
Go Jackets.

As we used to say back in the day, "Its Great, To Be, a Fuzzy Bee"........

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Must Be Santa......

Somebody has been a good girl this year!

Merry Christmas from our Family to Yours.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What a Man Wednesday......anyone BUT Tom Cruise

FYI, NOT a Tom Cruise fan and he has been all over promoting his film, ick he gets on my nerves. I am also VERY tired of Brangelina..... OK....speaking of Brad, our man of the week works very well with him. Nice classy salt and pepper kind of look. Very hip, especially playing Billy Ocean. I think he is kind of cocky, but in a subtle way if that makes ANY sense at all. Started out on another E/R show, a comedy, moved p to Jo's boytoy on The Facts of Life. Didn't we all fall in love with his playboy Dr Ross on ER....wasn't it great he ended up with Nurse Hathaway. I bet he is quite the charmer. I liked him as Batman the least in the films - Christian Bale is my fav, though I think the script for George was NOT good. He certainly does wear a tux well. How can you not like a man with his own villa on Lake Cuomo

Isn't it funny how I pick em, start on a train of thought how sick I am of you know who and end up with our man......

I give you George Clooney......

In the spirit ofthe holidays, I added George as a part of our Elf family. He can be seen as a part in this link....might take a minute to load, but its pretty funny.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Happy Gaudette Sunday, Rejoice!

Today is the 3rd Sunday of Advent...and the vestments at church are Pink or Rose. Today we start focusing on rejoicing that the Lord is coming and in living a life of joy. I found the info below about the advent wreath and thought I would share. I actually bought some advent candles this year, but seemed to have misplaced I am just enjoying the one at church.

From Saunders, Rev. William. “The History of the Advent Wreath.” Arlington Catholic Herald.

The symbolism of the Advent wreath is beautiful. The wreath is made of various evergreens, signifying continuous life. Even these evergreens have a traditional meaning which can be adapted to our faith: The laurel signifies victory over persecution and suffering; pine, holly, and yew, immortality; and cedar, strength and healing. Holly also has a special Christian symbolism: The prickly leaves remind us of the crown of thorns, and one English legend tells of how the cross was made of holly. The circle of the wreath, which has no beginning or end, symbolizes the eternity of God, the immortality of the soul, and the everlasting life found in Christ. Any pine cones, nuts, or seedpods used to decorate the wreath also symbolize life and resurrection. All together, the wreath of evergreens depicts the immortality of our soul and the new, everlasting life promised to us through Christ, the eternal Word of the Father, who entered our world becoming true man and who was victorious over sin and death through His own passion, death, and resurrection.

The four candles represent the four weeks of Advent. A tradition is that each week represents one thousand years, to sum to the 4,000 years from Adam and Eve until the Birth of the Savior. Three candles are purple and one is rose. The purple candles in particular symbolize the prayer, penance, and preparatory sacrifices and goods works undertaken at this time. The rose candle is lit on the third Sunday, Gaudete Sunday, when the priest also wears rose vestments at Mass; Gaudete Sunday is the Sunday of rejoicing, because the faithful have arrived at the midpoint of Advent, when their preparation is now half over and they are close to Christmas. The progressive lighting of the candles symbolizes the expectation and hope surrounding our Lord’s first coming into the world and the anticipation of His second coming to judge the living and the dead.

The light again signifies Christ, the Light of the world. Some modern day adaptions include a white candle placed in the middle of the wreath, which represents Christ and is lit on Christmas Eve. Another tradition is to replace the three purple and one rose candles with four white candles, which will be lit throughout Christmas season.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What a Man Wednesday....Fresh and Mr July

Our man of the week hails from the city of brotherly love, ummm a Pat's or Geno's cheese steak would be yummy about now. A Grammy winner and very successful actor - he is truly a "star" and has that aura. Talk about a million dollar smile! Often playing a cop or some kind of agent, his first acting role was in an Afterschool Special. Love seeing him with the family. Read his biggest regret acting career wise was turning down the role of Neo in The Matrix.... that would have been a great role for him. Whether summertime or getting jiggy, no denying he is one hot dude ANYTIME.

I give you Will Smith...........

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Me N Troy

Do I have issues I made this at my age? I would have been a cute cheerleader.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

What a man wednesday....Officer Tom Hanson and Barnabas Collins

Remember the 80's and 21 Jump Street...with Officer Tom Hanson who looked like he could be in High School and was oh so dreamy. Our Man of the week's debut was actually in the classic "A Nightmare on Elm Street". I think my personal favorites of his were Donny Brasco and Blow. Of course Captain Jack is alot of fun and he was totally dreamy in Chocolat. Personally I think one of the most beautiful faces around...he looks great pretty much any way you see him....long hair, short hair, glasses, facial hair, clean shaven....he always looks fantastic. His next project is in the role of Barnabas Collins in his bud Tim Burton's adaptation of Dark Shadows....that show used to scare me on TV. Seems pretty humble when he is interviewed.
To my sister Jill, this one is for you!
I give you the talented and beautiful Johnny Depp.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Obama Called.....I hung up on him

So here I am in Georgia where we have that hotly contested runoff between Saxby Chambliss and Jim Martin. I have been getting 3 calls a day from people the past week reminding me to vote tomorrow........I am feeling harassed. I think both sides of this race have done a horrible job of campaigning and I am sick of the mud slinging and misrepresentation in both sides of the ads......I seriously think they have the same ads going.

I did laugh out loud when the recording said "This is Barack Obama. I know you have been getting a lot of calls about tomorrow's election...." which is when I hung up on him. President Reagan's son Micheal called today as well as did the Governor Sonny Perdue...who woke Sarah up from her if I am not irritated enough by Sonny for not allowing me to purchase wine or beer in the grocery store on Sundays.

OK, I feel better now. I am so glad that after tomorrow, the phone will again be silent. Of course I will probably blog about how my phone never rings....... but maybe Obama will have more to ask of me down the road.