Friday, June 10, 2011

Life after CCSVI #2---Lord, thanks for my pool!

Well, it's three weeks today since my 2nd CCSVI procedure up in Tampa. The procedure itself went like clockwork and was a total success, clinically at least, but I have to admit I'm still pretty worn out. It's been a busy 3 weeks.

I've been on vacation for a week with a lot of car travel involved, I've been out to lunch a few times, to my new Sarasota neurologist, gone on a few shopping trips, up to St. Pete hospital for a followup dopplar (my blood flow is fantastic - by the way), gotten my son ready to go in for his ACT test for college tomorrow morning and then over for one of his best friends weddings afternoon on the other side of the state in the afternoon. There also been a tremendous amount of emotional upheavel with some "things" going on in my house. Won't get into the gory details, but as we know, emotions can run complete havoc on us MS patients and that in itself has left me feeling like a wet dish rag.

But, here's the great news! In between all the hustle and bustle of the last few weeks, I've had quite a few dips in our wonderful, refreshing pool. AHHH~ What a spectacular thing to jump into the pool to take away all your anxieties on any given day. Get our of the debilitating heat and take a break and float.  It truly is a glorious feeling of complete relaxation, and helps all of my MS symptoms seem to fade away, at least for a while.Your legs feel so good when you're swimming, they feel so light, you don't want to ever get out, at least I don't. I feel like my old NON-MS person in a pool, kinda like I never had the stinking disease to begin with. My head feels better, my legs work better, I can move around like a dolphin out there or should I say I'm more like a whale, but whatever it is, it feels sensational!

As I've been going in the pool so much of late, I starting thinking of what it would take to spend your days in the pool - what it would take to live your life in the water most of the day? Think about it?

Of course, I'd have to have a waterproof laptop so my CCSVI and Facebook friends wouldn't miss me. I'd need to have new screen put on our pool cage that would reflect the sunlight, just like film on windows reflects the light of them and reduces the heat in your house. You'd need screen to let the air continue to flow, but you couldn't stand the Florida sun full time, so someone would have to come up with reflective screen, that is a must. I'd be ok, because our pool doesn't have chlorine, we have an ionization system that keeps the pool clean. That would be a big help.

I guess I could use the cell phone, cause a regular land line wouldn't work and I'd need to be in touch with my peeps. Of course, I'd need a TV on my pool deck, which wouldn't be a problem because we installed electrical outlets on the deck, fans are already installed and a tiny frig or a complete outdoor kitchen would be the best thing, now that I think about it.

Then I would need those floating chairs, cause I'd have to float and do my Facebook thing, and naturally I'd need floating chairs for any and all friends wanting to visit me. Mass quantities of sunscreen, cause I burn easily. Lots of pina colada's and margarita's would make it so much nicer, or strawberry daquiries would do too! I would have to have a bottled water tank, because I drink lots of water constantly, my water goes whenever I am.

I would need music, but we already have a BOSE radio on the deck, so that would do just fine. Something for entertainment, diving sticks or noodles, pool balls or something else, like a pool basketball hoop like we used to have when the kids were little would be great! could I play scrabble in the pool, I 'd have to think about that one. White Christmas lights around the pool deck would be nice for the evenings, and would be a nice touch for those romantic skinny dipping evenings with the Hubs.

Oh, eating, what would I do about that? Well, we all know I've always found a way to find food, so that really wouldn't be an issue :) I know I would get food out there, Steve with his tremendous cooking talents, could fire up our outdoor kitchen and cook up some wonderful meals. I can see us now, floating along, eating nachos loaded or roast pork and green beans with mashed cauliflower, with those pool glasses for wine or beer. This sounding better all the time~

Yes, I could really pull this thing together if I wanted to, I've convinced myself.  UH OH... I forgot one big thing.

His name is BUCK. And Big Buck, would be the biggest problem I would have pulling off this "life in a pool" fantasy thing of mine. He's our 90 lb. 3 year old German Shepard granddog.  He goes nuts when he sees me put on my swimsuit, or if anyone in the house takes off their socks or any piece of clothing, he knows the pool is next and won't let us alone until we complete the task. He cries, he runs around in circles barking his head off. He jumps on you, he is so excited you can't control him. He goes NUTS for the pool.

He is without a doubt a dog with a mission. He doesn't like to actually swim cause he's scared to jump off the ledge, but he loves to run around the pool, bark and lick the deck and dig on the concrete (in the summer he has no nails on his front paws)-- like he's trying to dig under the pool to get to you. And naturally, he wants you to get him completely wet by splashing him over and over again.
                                    There he goes again, beginning to lick the deck - that crazy dog!

                                  Buck and Grandpa Steve - Spring 2011 What a handsome guys I have!  


On second thought, maybe pool life should just be my three swims a day and leave it at that. Buck will be disappointed, but life is full of not getting your way - Sorry Buck - deal with it. 

I am struggling along after my second CCSVI procedure, but I know I will heal slowly, in God's perfect time, and after all, it's only been 3 weeks! I am content on waiting on the Lord. And it is brutally hot down here in the flat lands and I've always been tremendously heat intolerant, although I am a bit better after the CCSVI procedures, believe it or not. Don't worry friends, I'm hanging in there, meanwhile, I thank the Lord that I do have a pool and it gives me the tremendous relief that I need in the Florida summer heat! Try to stay cool, wherever you are and please live with a contented and thankful heart :)

My verse for today is about contentment from Phillippians 4:10-13

"I rejoice greatly in the Lord that you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you have had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned that the secret of being content in any and all situations, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want, I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength."

My prayer for today:

Thank you Jesus for my life and Thank you Jesus for my pool! Please continue to heal me from my surgery Lord in your perfect time and help me to continue to be content, whatever the circumstances.

In Jesus Name I pray,

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A voice from the past

Over the last few days, I gotten a few messages from a lady, Dixie Fritts, that I haven't seen or heard from since I was about 12 years old. She sought me out and found me on Facebook. Isn't Facebook awesome?Anyway, her message floored me and put me in a time warp of about 43 years, because I can remember going out to her family farm years ago with my Dad and my brothers. I began to reflect on those younger years, the Fritts Family, and what they have meant to me and my family.

Let's go back a few years. My Dad was always a frustrated farmer. He grew up in the city, but in his heart, I think he always longed to be a country boy. My Dad came from a very dysfunctional family. His Dad left him and his family when he was 2 and didn't look back. Pop and his sister Nicki, were then raised by his Mom, his Aunt June and Grandma Mam. Although they did their best, my Dad was restless and confused, leaving home and moving to the west coast, on his own, when he was only 15 years ago. Once he grew up a little, he moved back to Va, but was still restless about life and his place in it.

My Dad was a bit of a "wild child" to say the least in his younger years. When he met my Mom and they fell in love and got married in 1947, I think my Dad began to have the stability that he longed for. First, my brother Mike was born in 1950 and then I was born in 1955, (brother Robert followed in 1962). Dad was happier but still struggling with his demons, and turning to alcohol was his way of coping. He was out of control and needed to change his behavior. Mom made it clear he was going to lose everything that had become so important to him if he didn't get some help. Thank you Mom for having the strength to protect your family.

God had his hand on my Dad and he didn't even know it. Isn't that the way it always is? Our Heavenly Father watches down with loving eyes from above and sends His angels where and when they are needed. Enter a man named Louis Fritts who helped bring my Dad to his knees and to the Lord.

Dad's life totally changed when he received Jesus Christ as his personal savior. And because this one man, reached out in Jesus' powerful name to my father, his life was thankfully, never the same. I, for one, also believe that Mr. Fritt's testimony to my Dad about Jesus changed the entire course of my life and the life of our entire family, as well.

Instead of coming from an alcoholic family, my brothers and I were raised in a Godly family. With Mr. Fritts help and mentoring, my Dad became a man of God, instead of being a sloppy drunk spinning out of control and taking the rest of us with him.

My Dad held Bible studies in our home, and he taught us about Jesus and his love. Pop was always a family man, but now, instead of being out carousing at the bars, he was home spending time with his family. He came home every night, just like clockwork Although I was too young to remember him in his drinking days, I'm happy to say that my Dad's encounter with Jesus all those years ago changed him and he has remained that way for the remainder of his life. Miraculously, Pop's change also changed all of our lives too.

Once a month on the weekend, Dad would take us kids out to the Fritt's family farm in Fairfax. We would spend the day picking corn out of the fields, digging up cabbage and pulling potatoes out of the ground. We got to know the family well. Even though at times, I can recall that I would much rather be doing anything but doing that on the weekends for fun, (especially as I got older); it was good for me, it was good for us, and it was GREAT for my Dad. He was strengthening his love for his family and for the Lord.

So, hearing from Dixie, one of Mr. Fritt's daughters, after all these many years, brought back some very fond memories for me. She told me she always remembered our family and wondered what happened to us. She said that my Dad was very special to them. She also told me that the Lord often put me on her heart to pray for me, even though she didn't know where I was or what I was going through. God told her and she did it. Maybe it was during that time that I was going through my MS diagnosis, 13 years ago? I don't know, we'll have to have more conversations, but it just reminded me of the Lord's awesome power. He is everywhere and knows everything about everybody!

Dixie told me that both of her parents have passed on now, but all of the kids feel blessed by the wonderful legacy of Jesus Love that their parents passed on to them. And I knew immediately that legacy also includes our family, whose lives were changed forever by their father's strong love of the Lord, and his willingness to share that love with another struggling man. It truly is amazing how the Lord can use his disciples to reach others struggling with life. We really are the hands and feet of Jesus on this earth.

                                                       Mike, Robert, Dad, Nicki and Mom on 
                                                                           Mom's 80th Birthday. May 29, 2008

So, thanks Dixie....thanks for contacting me, thanks for remembering me. Thank you for reaching out to me in Jesus name. I look forward to getting to know you again. I am looking forward to sharing my love of Jesus right back to you!

My verse for today is from Matthew 28:16-20 about Jesus' Great Commission to his disciples, wherein he began his church:
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

My prayer for today:

Dearest Heavenly Father:

Oh God, you are so good. Thank you for Mr. Fritts and his life and legacy of love for you. Thank you for his personal testimony about Jesus that changed the course of life for our entire family. Thank you that this one man took your commandment to tell others about your love so seriously. Thank you that he shared the Good News about Jesus Christ with our Dad. Thank you for the Fritts Family and their reaching out to our family all those years ago. Please continue to watch over and protect them with your loving arms of comfort. Help them to continue their father's legacy of love and continue with your great commission!

In Jesus Name I pray,