Saturday, June 25, 2011

Summer Plans

Sorry, it's been so long since I have given you an update on my weightloss and overall health. From January to May, I had plateaued on my weight but in the last couple of weeks I have lost 4 more pounds. So yeah! I am off my plateau. The school year ended well and I received a good evaluation. Sadly, with the economy a lot of aide jobs were cut including my own. I remain hopeful that I will be called back. I have applied to Chicago public schools for aide jobs in the city as well other districts. I found out over spring break that I have to have a double laminectomy and a spinal fusion on July 6th. I have a condtion called spondylothesis. It has caused a lot of pain in my back, hips, and legs over the last 14 years. The weight loss has helped but the damage was already done to my spine. The surgeon said that I was probably born with the condition and a fall on the ice 14 years ago probably agravated it. The surgery should take 6-8 hours and 1-2 hours in recovery. I will be in Rush Medical Center in Chicago for 4-6 days and then recouperate with one friend's family for two weeks in Villa Park and then 1-2 more weeks in Wheaton. I am checking out Marianjoy Rehabilitation Center in Wheaton in case I need more rehab than just outpatient care. God has provided incredibly for me this summer. Because I was laid off, the school district paid me my entire summer salary in one pay check. If this had not paid me in one lump sum I would not have been able to pay the large deposit required for the surgery and paid my summer rent in full in June. Friends at church said they come visit me in the hospital and help me in my rehab by walking with me. Please pray for my surgery and the surgeon as he operates. Pray for my recovery that it would be swift.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Springtime is in the Air

Winter and early spring has been hard for me. I have a desire to widen and deepen my connections. In three weeks, I will be 44. I really expected to married with a couple of kids by now. Most of my friends their 30s and 40s are married and/or have kids. They are great about including me whenever they can but something is missing. I try so much to be a contented single but I want much to be married. I am feeling discouraged because I think I put too much stock in the way my body looks. I have lost so much weight hoping that this reality with lift the main barrier that I felt I have had to finding "Mr. Right". I really am not sure what else to say except I would appreciate your prayers not to be discouraged. Also, pray that I could connect with lots of different kinds of people married, single and of all ages.

Monday, February 21, 2011

More pounds lost, diagnosis made

I went to the convenient care center today to weigh myself and was suprised to find that I have lost more weight. I have lost a total of 175 pounds. I am 15 pounds away from my first final goal. I recently went to have some tests done by my gastroenterologist because I wanted answers to my nausea and vomiting. I found out that I have gastritis. For those of you who don't know gastritis is inflamation of the lining of the stomach. My doctor did a biopsy of the lining of my stomach to find out if it is caused by a bactia called H. pilori. If it is; she will prescribe antibiotics for a few weeks and some prescription strength ant-acid. I am relieved to have the cause of all my digestive problems. Tomorrow, I have an appointment with my lap band surgeon to remove the fluid from my band. I am hoping this will help with restriction that I feel. I have an appointment with a spinal surgeon at Rush on Tuesday March 8th. I was told by my regular back surgeon that I would need a laminectomy and spinal fusion at L4,L5, and S1. The doctor in Chicago is a second opinion recommended by a friend from church. If he said I should have the surgery, I will have him do it since he is a nationally recognized back surgeon. This surgury will likely happen in June after school is out. Please pray for healing of the gastritis and the appointment with the new back surgeon.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Breathing better

My computer is acting up so this will have to be short. Today, I went to the pulmonologist and he was very happy with my weightloss and the numbers he got from the card from my cpap machine. He has decided to discontinue use of my machine. As a formality, he has ordered a sleep study that I will have on Saturday. I am very excited about disontinueing my cpap machine. Please pray for an appointment (second opinion) with a spinal surgeon at Rush Hospital. My surgeon feels it necessary for me to have a lamonectomy and spinal fusion surgery. It will take 2 to 6 weeks to recover from this surgery so I will have it when school gets out in June. Also pray for a test I am on April 16th. It is the bilingual certification test. Pray that it will only take me once to pass the test. (It usually takes people 2 or 3 times.) When I pass I can apply for teaching jobs and increase my income dramatically. Praise for God's provision of my car repairs.

Friday, January 7, 2011

A New Year, New Hopes

As I look at this new photo; I can say a lot has changed in the last year. Besides the 155 pounds, 10 dress sizes (I can wear a size 12 in some jeans, 1 1/2 shoes sizes and more than 60 inches and 30% reduction in my BMI; I have a lot to be grateful for this past year. I made a top blessings list and put it in a Christmas Letter. I am sorry if some of you couldn't read it. So here is one of the photos and the list.
This Year’s Top Blessings
1. A wonderful new and former roommate named Lillian
2. Becoming Justin David Hartsell’s Godmother.
3. New prayer partners: Lois, Jane, and Cathy.
4. Successful weight loss of 155 pounds, nine pants sizes, 1 1/2 shoe sizes, over 60 inches lost
5. God’s financial provision and being credit card debt free
6. Play dates with some of my favorite kids.
7. Family Time with my foster family ( the Wisockis) and the Masters
8. Wonderful co-worker and prayer partners
9. Visiting the Johnsons in Ohio
10. 15 years at Church of the Resurrection
11. As of December 23, 2010, Church of the Resurrection will finally have a building after about 20 years of not having one.
12. Having the opportunity to share my story at a foster parent training at the Evanagelical Child and Family Agency in December.

Prayer Requests for 2011: Continued weight loss (I have 50 more pounds to lose)
and continued financial provision. Also I will probably have to have spinal fusion surgery this year. It's justjavascript:void(0) a matter of figuring out when.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Doctors Visits Garnish Challenges and Praises

In the past month, I have seen five different doctors to deal with multiple infections including cellulitus which left me on crutches for a week with periodic rides in a wheelchair at the airport and the Columbus Zoo. After being on crutches for a week, I threw my back out of allignment and couldn't bear weight on my left foot. My orthopeadic found a nodule which turned out to be inflamation/infection of the fatty tissue. Who woulda thought that fat could get infected. When the MRI was taken of that area, the MRI found a cyst on my right ovary. It turned out to be a follicular cyst and the gynecologist said my body would take care of it. My back pain was at a height even for me who has a high tolorance for pain. My regular orthopaedic referred me to another ortho at the hospital so I could make use of my financial assistance there. Again, this doctor saw something that was a concern. I bruise very easily and he wanted to get some blood tests to see if I had a clotting disorder. If we didn't get the tests and it turned out I did have a clotting disorder there was a 1 and 1000 chance that I would become paralysed from the waist down. So of course I told him to do the blood tests. Thank goodness it was negative. In the last two months, it seems like I have had some sort of infection that required antibiotics or that I needed to go to a different doctor to look at something that was found in a lab or test.I was finally able to get the clear from my chiropractor to go back to working out which is a praise. I rode the exercise bike for 20 minutes. He said to ease back into it. Also another praise, my primary care physician is cutting my 10 Mg of Lisinopril to 5 mg. I have also lost 3.5 more pounds since my last appointment 6 weeks ago for a total of 143 since right before my surgery. Please pray for continued improvement with blood pressure, talking to my psychiatrist about weaning me off the medications he prescribes, as well as the ability to get back to a reqular routine of working out.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Invitation

Today, I went on retreat with some of the women from my church. It was a good chance for me to reflect on what God has done for me and given me in the past year and my life. There are aspects of weight loss that has been more challenging that I thought. I am greatful for those of you who have given me clothes as I shrink bit by bit each month to a shadow of my former self. I love all the compliments. Who wouldn't? That part of losing weight that has been hard for me is guys. I think; no I know I was thinking before my surgery that when I had the surgery and began to loose weight I would be noticed by guys that want to date me. Still being single at 43 is hard. I have been content in my unmarried state for a while, but recently, I have been becoming more discontent. The pastor at my church has been doing a series on Marriage and Celibacy. He said that no one is single if they are in the church if they have Jesus. Through contemplation and pray alone and with others; I began to realize that being married has become an idol to me. I have confessed it, but it is funny how the devil works to deceive us and puts that a thought back into our heads or a feeling in our heart. I find myself having to put that idol at the foot of the cross daily. I am trying to walk in the celibacy that called me to right now. Please pray for me as I take this walk. Please pray that I would be reminded that I am not alone and that Jesus walks with me. Now don't get me wrong, I know these things but sometimes I have to be reminded like all of us. I still pray for a husband and I have given over to the Lord that I may never have my own biological children but He has given me so many children to be a "spiritual mother" to. As I listen to the Lord in my quiet times, He calls my name. Sometimes I go or sometimes I don't go because I am distracted, not listening, ashamed to go because I feel dirty because of my own sin or the sins that other have committed against me. Today, after hearing the story of the wealthy man that invited his friends to a grand banquet and they rejected the invitation. The wealthy man sent his servant out to the roads and the byways to invite anyone that would come. They came and the servant was sent out farther to invite more people to the banquet and fill his table with many people. I wonder what the wealthy man's friends were thinking when they rejected his invitation. I wonder why they said no. Would I say yes if the Lord invited me? I wrote a poem at the retreat as a reflection/response to this verse. It brought me to a place of recognition of the abundance of love God and his people have for me and a deep gratitude what what He has provided for me over the years.


I wonder what I would feel like if I were invited?
I wonder what I would feel like if I wasn't invited?
I want to be invited,but sometimes I am not invited.
I want to feel welcomed, but some sometimes I don't feel welcome.
To be invited to me means that others want me around, so if I am not
invited I think I am not wanted.
To be invited means that someones likes me enough or loves me enough to want me there.
If I am not invited maybe I am not liked or loved by others.
Who will invite me?
Lord, will you invite me?
Will I go?
Have you invited me and I just didn't hear you?
Was I ignoring you?
Am I am ashamed and feel dirty because of my own sin or the sins committed against me?
Do you love me Lord?
I know you love me.
I can see love for me in the family and friends you have given me.
I can see love for mein the way that you provide for me financially and materially.
I can see it in the way that you have made me healthier: body, mind,
spirit, and soul.
I can see your love for me in the relationships you have reconciled.
I can see your love for me in how you have redeemed, restored, and transformed my life.
Thank you Lord for filling in the pits and knocking down the mountains of pain and sorrow paving the way for continued transformation in my life.
Thank you Lord for washing the dark places of my past with your blood and healing my innocence.
Will you come, Clare?
Yes Lord, Yes, Lord I will come?

Will you come when He calls you?