Monday, July 26, 2010
"Whosoever trusteth in the Lord, happy is he." --Proverbs 16:20
"Those who look to Him are radiant."- Psalm 34:5a
Be content with what you have, for God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." So say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid." - Hebrews 13:5,6
Right now... I find myself thinking that if I didn't Trust God... I'd be a complete mess. Trusting in God is pretty much one of those things that falls under the category of "easier said than done" considering it's human nature (or so it seems) to doubt.
Things on my mind and heart these days:
- The future... uncertainty is scary.
- Upcoming medical appointments. My fertility appointment went very well and I feel 1000% trust in my new doctor. I also have found myself filled with faith that we will get there. But knowing I have more appointments coming, and the uncertainty that comes with waiting for test results... it's frustrating. Thank God for God! That's for sure!
- Being overwhelmed - I'm taking two graduate course right now and I love them but the workload is intense.
- Health/weight loss - I need to make sure I'm being careful in this department. I've managed to fracture my ribs (OUCH!) and I'm not completely certain about exercise possibilities.
- Relationships - I'm still struggling with the fact that someone I saw sooooo much good in has taken a turn for the worse. All I can do at this point is pray and give it all to God.
- My desire to become a mother is increasing and at times I feel incredibly optimistic, but there are times where I'm down-right scared. Prayer is an outlet.
- I participated in my first PCOS webinar tonight and was blessed with the opportunity to network with a variety of women. I look forward to getting to know these women more.
- I'm very torn with a moral dilemma. The more I learn about PCOS, the more I tend to look to the past... I feel as if it would be beneficial for me to write to my past physicians and tell them about my diagnosis and how they missed it and urge them to take their patients seriously. Of course the letter(s) would not sound as negative as it may be coming across here... I know I can't change the past but if I can prevent another woman from being heartbroken - it's worth a shot!
Thursday, July 22, 2010
i am a little church(no great cathedral)
far from the splendor and squalor of hurrying cities
-i do not worry if briefer days grow briefest,
i am not sorry when sun and rain make april
my life is the life of the reaper and the sower;
my prayers are prayers of earth's own clumsily striving
(finding and losing and laughing and crying)children
whose any sadness or joy is my grief or my gladness
around me surges a miracle of unceasing
birth and glory and death and resurrection:
over my sleeping self float flaming symbols
of hope,and i wake to a perfect patience of mountains
i am a little church(far from the frantic
world with its rapture and anguish)at peace with nature
-i do not worry if longer nights grow longest;
i am not sorry when silence becomes singing
winter by spring,i lift my diminutive spire to
merciful Him Whose only now is forever:
standing erect in the deathless truth of His presence
(welcoming humbly His light and proudly His darkness)
Edward Estlin Cummings
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting--
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
© Mary Oliver
Sunday, July 18, 2010
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history's shame
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Tomorrow I will find out if kids are really going to happen for us or not. It's absolutely nerve-racking. However, part of this experience has been beneficial to others. What I mean is... I'm educating people.
Here is what I am dealing with: PCOS + HYPOthyroidism = Infertility (at least for me) I am also dealing with a not-so-good set of genetics from my husband's side.
So... what is PCOS?
PCOS is Poly-cystic ovarian syndrome.
Below are the symptoms and I've noted next to them if I have them or not.
· Irregular periods or no periods -- my period has always been irregular from day one. It has not made one bit of difference if I was 105 pounds or 205 pounds. It doesn't make a difference. At one point I went over ten months without a period. NOT good.
· Painful or unusually heavy or light periods -- when I do get my period, it's very painful and it's just a terrible experience. When I was in high school, it was so bad that I literally was stuck in bed all day. In college, it seemed to get a little bit better but I learned of herbs to help me deal with it.
· Irregular or absent ovulation -- YES. Sometimes I ovulate, sometimes I don't, and sometimes I go over-board and my hormones are all over the place. I had labs done two years ago and was told that my bloodwork is never normal, it's either above or below. Fun news: I could end up with twins.
· Hirsutism (hair on face, stomach, thighs, arms, breasts, etc.) -- Luckily, I do not have these symptoms as bad as other women with PCOS. My upper thighs are hairy but I shave. I do sometimes wonder if my eyebrows are a factor because I get waxed twice a month
· Alopecia (thinning hair or male pattern baldness) -- NOPE
· High blood pressure -- NOPE
· Infertility -- YES
· Obesity (especially around the stomach) -- YES. This is infuriating to me because from the time I was a TEEN I would tell my family doctor and any doctors I met when I moved out that I wanted to lose weight but it was just so hard. They'd recommend a diet or a pill or an activity but never took me seriously. At one point I was on a weight loss pill and it literally almost killed me. I went off that pill and went to my current doctor who was FURIOUS I had gone so LONG with this issue and no serious attention. She diagnosed me with PCOS.
· Difficulty losing weight -- YES. In addition to this, I have hypothyroidism which is an added kick in the face.
· Insulin resistance or hypoglycemia -- Not that I know of at this time, but it's possible I may find out I am at my appointment tomorrow.
· Fatigue --YES Anytime I'm feeling tired for more than a week, I call the doctor and order up some labs. 9 times out of 10, my thyroid is out of whack
· Depression, anxiety or SAD (seasonal affective disorder) -- ANXIETY, yes. I do not suffer from depression or SAD. I do have anxiety. I get nervous/anxious over silly things. For example, when I was at the airport waiting to board the plane for Ireland - I was anxious. I called my husband to look up my seat number and my mom's seat number because I wanted to make sure we were next to one another. I had a panic attack climbing the Blarney Castle (it's funny now...)
· Mood swings, some women report feelings of anger or aggression -- YES. I do get moody from time to time, but luckily, I have learned to control this. I take a breather and just think about my emotions. I'm very blunt, but I attribute my bluntness to this symptom.
· Acne -- I had bad acne as a teen. I do tend to have a few pimples now and then but nothing too major.
· Ovarian cysts -- I've lucked out in this department
· Skin tags --NO
· Acanthosis nigricans -- NO
· High cholesterol levels --NO
· Decreased sex drive --NO
· Excess "male" hormones, such as androgens, DHEAS, or testosterone -- YES. I have had elevated testosterone but it was not elevated enough to be considered serious
· Decreased breast size -- YES. My breasts have not grown since 6th grade. I'm barely a B cup
· Failure to maintain a pregnancy -- YES
· Enlarged ovaries --YES
· Enlarged uterus -- YES
NOW in addition to this, I also have hypothyroidism which is not uncommon to have with PCOS. It's also not uncommon to have RA, asthma, or IBS with PCOS.
Here are the symptoms of hypothyroidism which is tested easily by a blood test. [Testing for PCOS is done by what I call "naked time" in addition to blood work.] I have put my commentary next to the symptom.
--weight gain -- YES
-- round or puffy face --YES
-- thinning eyebrows -- NO
--low sex drive --NO
--dry or thin hair --NO
--bloating -- YES
--thick skin --YES
--cold intolerance --YES
--cold hands or feet -- YES, feet
--joint or muscle pain -- YES
--thin or brittle nails -- Not really
Now, I know this entry is already lengthy.
This week has been very trying for me.
Lots of things are stressing me out and I've been VERY anxious.
I think the best way to go about this is to make another list...
- Computer virus was the start of it all. I am taking an online grad class and lost some (not all) of my work due to a virus. If you know me, you know I take my schoolwork very seriously. I was really upset that I had to start all over on two assignments and now I'm feeling behind and overwhelmed
- I have been having this cough issue for a while now and they can't get me in for an upper GI until the 27th. This is highly upsetting to me because I've been having issues for almost 7 months and nothing is helping or working.
- My entire schedule and plans for the week pretty much went down the toilet. Yesterday, I woke up to rain... in my third bedroom. The ceiling looks like it may collapse and I had to get all of my books and things out of the room. It was bad. Chunks of ceiling just kept coming down and there's not much to do when the rain won't stop. Luckily, it's being looked at tonight.
- Bloodwork - this is the big one. I had bloodwork done last week and there is something wrong or something going on with it. I'm so frustrated. I always talk results on the phone but these results are for "in person" and that's really annoying to a person with anxiety issues. I'm worried.
- Tomorrow is the big appointment. As much as I'm faithful and as much as I believe in God, I'm still scared. I want to be a parent. I want to experience pregnancy and child birth. But as you can see as I noted above - I'm up against a lot. So of course...
- I'm not sleeping well at all.
I don't like feeling scared
I just need to keep my focus on GOD and know that my job is to just get to this appointment and he will take care of the rest. I'm just worried and anxious ... all while trying to remain optimistic.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Hello, hello! Many of you know that I absolutely love to read and I love to learn. LOVE it! I am presently taking a class on young adult/adolescent literature and I think I may be in heaven. I have been reading so many wonderful things. I'd like to talk about a book by Katherine Paterson called "Jacob Have I Loved." If you're reading this and thinking, "Hey... that sounds a bit Biblical..." you are definitely correct! (Read Romans 9:13 and Malachi 1:2-3 if you're up for it.)
This story is beautiful. Hopefully you do not mind - but I am going to cut and paste what I wrote for my class below. I fell in love with this story page after page. It's truly beautiful.
I read Jacob Have I Loved in one sitting. It's such a wonderful story.
If interested, you may want to read Romans 9:13 after this post. This story is the story of growth. It's a story of learning to follow your dreams and acknowledging/accepting that change can be difficult. It is a story of growth on many levels. It is beautifully written.
1. Coming of age novels deal with characters finding their voice. Analyze the growth of the main character in your selection.
Jacob Have I Loved is the story of Sarah Louise Bradshaw also known as "Wheeze" and her struggles as the twin sister of Caroline. She lives on an island off the Chesapeake Bay called Rass. She is a tomboy, while her twin sister is the complete opposite. She helps her father with crabbing and her best friend is a boy named Call. Caroline is pretty, talented, and eventually leaves the island to pursue a career in music. Caroline is "the favorite" while Louise often feels alone and struggles with her identity as well as her faith. In addition to these struggles, Call ends up "leaving a boy and returning a man" by joining the Navy. In the midst of these changes, Louise struggles with her senile grandmother and the hopes of her parents. When Call returns home from the Navy, it becomes very clear that he and Caroline are to be married. "Wheeze" ends up thinking about what she wants for herself and her future. She begins to realize that she needs to stop doing what she thinks others want her to do and do what SHE wants to do. This realization becomes very clear in a conversation with Call and the Captain as well as conversations with her parents. She decides to go off to college and study medicine in hopes of becoming a doctor. In the end, she becomes a nurse/midwife and finds herself happily married and fulfilled. ((I spared the complete ending for those of you who want to read it.))
This book was definitely a "page-turner" for me. It was neat to see how "Wheeze" developed. I loved her inner-dialogue and I found myself relating to her personally on many levels (feel free to ask how if interested). "Wheeze" went from living in the shadows to shining on her own. Katherine Paterson's words flow from sentence to sentence and page to page. There were several instances where I found myself laughing out loud while at the same time crying for this character. It was beautiful to see how "Wheeze" became more and more independent, more and more determined, and more and more in control of her destiny.
2. What areas of growth, that the main characters experience, are lessons of life that young adults all seem to experience?
I feel this story would make a great gift for any struggling young woman. I'm not so sure if this story would touch a male reader. However, the message is universal.
The main character grows and develops from girl to woman - literally, and figuratively. She goes from being a puddle duck to a swan. She learns to take control of her life. She learns to set goals for herself and go after them. These are all lessons of life that young adults seem to experience.
As a high school teacher, I have the honor of seeing my students grow from grades 9 through 12. They go from 100% dependent to 1000% independent just like Wheeze does in this story. They, like Louise, go from caring about what other people think to caring about what THEY think.
Like "Wheeze" my students learn that the beauty of this world is that we are all different and the challenge is to accept it. There is beauty and pain in change. There is beauty and pain in difference. This novel is nearly 70 years old but has the power to truly touch your heart.
3. Today's teens issues are very different than a generation, or further, ago, yet surprisingly the same. Where do you see the commonality of today's teen issues that the characters in your book selection faced?
I see first hand that today's teens issues are very different than a generation or further ago. I am 28 years old, only about 14 years at most older than my students. I am constantly made aware of how different things are for them at this age than they were for me. It's scary, actually. However, there definitely is a common ground expressed in this book and in my classroom.
For starters, the need for acceptance and assurance. Kids like knowing they are important. They like being heard. They don't want you to just listen to them, they long to be heard. You see shining examples of this throughout the novel. The main character wants to be known for HER not for her sister. I personally found myself relating to this. I venture to guess that teens today also relate to this longing of self-identity. Growing up with a last name like Szczurek (my maiden name) it was very hard escaping from my older brother's "wake." He and I are complete opposites. I love him, but he's made many many mistakes and as a kid in grades 1-8 I found myself having to proove that I was not like "that Szczurek boy." The main character did this same thing in the novel. My students do the same. They long to be THEM but at the same time they want to be identical to their friends. Even if they are an only child, they still struggle.
In addition to finding oneself, there is also the issue of family and faith. Closeness. Further growth. Being there for your family even when you'd rather be somewhere else. Figuring out what you believe. "Having it out with God" in a sense. I know I personally have had these struggles. Self-doubt. Worry. All of these things are present not just in this story but in life at any age, but especially during the teen years.
4. How comfortable are you in dealing with these as a classroom teacher?
I am VERY comfortable in dealing with these issues as a classroom teacher. I don't know how I do it, or how I did it... but I have a way of making my students feel comfortable in their own skin. I allow them to vent and open up. I let them spill out everything in their mind and we talk things out.
Grant it, there are times where I listen to my students and find myself silently praying at the same time. The issues of today are the same as those of yesterday. However, I also feel that there are new issues with this generation which are hard to adapt to. Sometimes my kids mimic me at the end of a day when we're lined up at the door and I give them advice for the night as the bell rings, "Do a good deed before bedtime. Love each other appropriately! Make good decisions! READ!"
I think as a teacher it is important to realize while their issues are not necessarily our issues, they are still important. I feel this book also represented this thought.
I absolutely loved this story. I think it would make an excellent gift for a "Sweet 16."
Monday, July 5, 2010
I am back, and will be trying to post pictures when my head is not buried in a book. I'm taking an online literature class right now and I've been LOVING what we're assigned to read. Yes, part of heaven for me is a good book! :)
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