Scars

August 16, 2015

I didn’t plan on a lot of things this year. I definitely did not plan on having two surgeries 5 months apart. The first was St. Patrick’s Day. The red head awake on the operating room table for TWO hours because all my veins kept blowing. Then, the red and pink head last week who thankfully got a working vein prior to pre op, but it literally looked like a murder scene when my sweet nurses got the vein. I had to be mopped up, sheets had to be changed, lots and lots of blood. As both surgeries went in thru my tummy, I now am recovering with what looks like 5 gunshot wounds and huge bruises thanks to several injections I had to have in my belly too. I’m kind of a train wreck. But, in a way it’s cool. I have battle scars. I am a fighter. I have lived through a lot. These wounds and scars are a tiny glimpse of the severe and often debilitating pain I have lived with for years. They show I am broken and far from perfect. They remind me of my Good Shepherd Physician who has healed me on so many levels and who has sent me amazing doctors who continue to figure things out. 

My scars are a huge talking point for my nephew and niece. My precious babies have to constantly examine them and have made them sensitive to people who are hurting physically. The scars have helped teach these wee ones we can pray to God through Jesus Christ for healing and help. They are a reminder for me to pray for my sweet Dr. V who has become so important to me as he cares for all his patients. 

I joke about being scarred for life for being awake in an operating room for so long, because, well, it was traumatic. But now my tummy is scarred for life, but I’m thankful for it. What better reminder to see and feel these scars everyday and know that the Shepherd is faithful. He has carried me during this physically and emotionally weak time. He loves me. He cherishes me. He wants me. He has used this to prove I am his sheep and my eyes need to be on Him alone. The valleys of life are where the streams of water and growth are. I honestly find joy in these trials. No, not fun or even happiness every minute but joy. I like being able to laugh my head off even though it feels like my whole abdomen is going to rip apart. I love finding the humor of the situation and laughing at myself being more messed up at age 29 than my sweet, precious 89 year old roommate. I love seeing my sister use her nursing skills to compassionately serve me how ever I need, even with the very gross stuff…oh wait, I have watched her give birth:) I LOVE seeing my four year old nephew and two year old niece be sooooo gentle and concerned over me. My nephew telling me every day ” ok, auntie Katie, I have to take you for another walk so your tummy will feel better” melts my heart every time. Hearing all their prayers asking Christ to help me feel better brings me to tears. 

Of course, Christ is able to do all this without such extreme measures. But, I am glad he has chosen this path for me because I don’t think I would be able to see His glory as clear. I’m thankful for all the above examples of His grace. I just pray I use these times of trouble to glorify Him. The pain and exhaustion become hard to bear and I don’t want to lash out at people during those times. I also have to be in constant prayer about my panic attacks. I’ve struggled with panic disorder and severe anxiety over the years and sometimes I don’t understand what triggers it. But, when I do recognize a trigger, or am in the middle of an attack, I have to choose how I react. I try to reach out to others for prayer and saturate myself in scripture so I don’t lose sight that God is sovereign even when my brain seems to malfunction. 

Praise God for his promises and because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Please praise Him with me that I have not been nauseous at all in this post op time. This is a gigantic, enormous blessing. Last time around it was horrible. I have such a huge problem with nausea that I have been in total shock this time has been so different. Pray with me I continue to persevere thru the pain and healing process and that God would have mercy on me with some of my other health problems that have caused lots of pain this week as well. Also, for peace as I continue to wait for more test results on the pituitary gland problems to figure out treatment. 

Thankful

August 10, 2015

I am long overdue for a thankfulness post, especially after the last few days!

-Today, early in the morning, I had my appendix taken out. I was in shock. Went to the ER yesterday afternoon per doctor’s orders and ended up in the OR! Just as I was finally healing and getting strong after my last surgery in March, this was a major shock realizing I have to start over from square one with a whole new recovery. I am still laughing about it and so thankful for all my wise doctors, my sister dropping everything to care for me and my other family members caring for my sister’s family so she could be with me. My church family and friends who have encouraged and prayed over me and the whole goofy situation. 

-being home tonite with the pain controlled and being in my cozy bed. 

-God’s promises in Psalm 91 my sis read to me in pre-op. 

– my roomie and her daughter caring for me. 

-laughter over my dysfunctional body. 

-peace. Not the removal of hard times but knowing God is sovereign and working for my good. Knowing people all over the country have been approaching the throne of Grace on my behalf this week. 

-kind nurses. One who shares my birthday. I was so happy. 

-finally finding a good vein so I wouldn’t be awake on the operating table for two hours this time. And finding that correct vein making it look like a murder scene. Had to change my sheets. Lol!

– George from transport who transferred me from the ER to my room and then again to pre op. A brother in the Lord who was so fun to talk to and made me feel at ease that God was making me into a diamond and chipping away at the rough by pressure. 

-Charles Spurgeon wisdom. 

– moments of rest and focusing on the Shepherd and not panic attacks. 

– a 4 year old nephew and 2 year old niece as my biggest encouragers and prayer warriors. 

– my mommy. Always ready to laugh with me and support me. 

– Enjoyable fiction pointing me to Christ by my favorite authors. 

– did I mention a cozy bed?! 

– my diseased appendix found and taken out early enough to not cause major problems. 

– having my sis and bro and their fam here right now during my health probs. AND my BFF Candace is coming to town and so is my mom. God ordained this timing for amazing support and hilarious fun at just the right time to keep me encouraged and not isolated in pain. 

Thank you, Shepherd, for carrying me through the past two days of whirlwind uncertainty. I am certain you love me and know me by name. You carry me and care for me in ways I take for granted or don’t even care to acknowledge. I love you, Abba, and belong to you!

Hello, old friends!

July 26, 2015

Well, I certainly haven’t blogged in a long time. I’m not totally sure why. I have a lot on my mind and yet it’s hard to put it all into words. God has blessed me with a summer full of laughter and fun with my sister, brother in law, and their 3 children. Being aunt Katie is my favorite job. I love those kids so much my heart hurts. 

My heart is full because I finally was able to finish the membership process at my church. I am so excited to have a church family. God has been so good to me. I have a wonderful job with a flexible and fun boss. I enjoy going to work and learning all sorts of new stuff.

My health. Just last week I was reflecting on Facebook how thankful I am for relief of pain and the success of my March surgery. The day after I posted that positive status update, I found some concerning symptoms. I’ve been discouraged because finally I have had a break from new issues and things are being treated and I am adjusting. So, I called my specialist and the office said I needed to come in. My appointment is this coming Wednesday. I went to my general doctor on Friday for other follow ups and he and the nurse were both very glad I am going in this week because I definitely need to get checked. I’ve been very nervous. I don’t want to deal with any more health things. My anxiety has been very high and I have had a few panic attacks, but I keep telling myself…ummm Katie, get a grip, God is still on the throne and he knows my body perfectly because he made me. Duh! But, I’m struggling. Of course I am scared because the symptoms point to cancer, but as my nurse said, there are sooooo many different things it could be and everyone is so different.  Try not to think the worst. So, I wait. I will enjoy each day as it comes and no matter how tired I am or how much pain I experience, To God Be the Glory. He knows what is best for me to glorify Him. My ways and thoughts are not God’s ways and thoughts. 

Post Op!

April 9, 2015

I am a little over 3 weeks post op and have realized I haven’t updated my blog. Surgery is rough. Chronic illness and chronic pain are also rough. But, as usual the grace of God is greater. I am beyond thankful and blessed to have found a compassionate doctor/surgeon to care for me. He has taken my pain seriously and had gotten to the bottom of things. I am healing very well and my doc is pleased with both the surgery and how I am recovering. I had a rough time before surgery. I arrived in pre op and was very dehydrated and as usual the nurse had a heck of a time finding a vein to start fluids and pain meds. Docs and nurses were in and out and finally my doc came and we went over everything. He even took a surgeon selfie with me before. They wheeled me in and the sweet nurse holding my hand and caressing my forehead said ok time for a nap. Well, they put the anesthesia in my vein and it blew. So, my arm burned for what seemed like an eternity. They started poking around everywhere and couldn’t find a vein. Two more times they found a vein and as soon as the anesthesia went in it blew and I was burning again. Of course I was in a panic because I was laying on an operating table hearing everything and being poked all over my body with needles. The sweet nurse was still by my side. All the nurses, surgeons, anesthesiologist, etc were trying to find a vein. Finally, they brought in an untrasound machine and found a deep vein. Two hours of hell laying awake on the table and I was finally asleep. I woke up in recovery and they kept giving me pain meds. My doc was very glad he did the surgery. He found a bunch of scar tissue behind my uterus and on the nerve and was able to get it all out. He said its old endometriosis. He was very happy he didn’t see any “active” endo. He did other stuff while in there and now we hope with my treatment plan no more endo will be able to grow. I am so thankful for my doctor. It has been a rough few weeks of recovery, but I am encouraged to not have my pain like before the surgery for all these years. My doc has taken great care of me and that has been really reassuring. I have been traumatized by the OR debacle and my anxiety has been terrible but the Shepherd continues to carry me thru every aspect. I’m praying my treatment works for a long time so I can function. I’m so thankful for everyone taking care of me and praying for me. It means the world. 

Planet Fitness

March 10, 2015

I decided to cancel my membership at Planet Fitness today. My reasons are two-fold.

1. I decided to try one of their “classes” with one of the “trainers.” (I use those terms loosely). I have worked out extensively with trainers in the past and know what my body can handle and how to do things correctly. So, I told the “trainer” I have chronic illness so I know I am not strong enough for certain things. Instead of being encouraging and saying “ok, we will do what you can do and modify as needed” he went in to a LONG spiel about how most illness can be totally preventable and cured if I just work out and eat right. He wouldn’t stop even though I said well, there is no way to prevent the illnesses I have and there is no cure. I can only manage symptoms somewhat. He wouldn’t have it. I felt harassed and discouraged because here I am trying to get strong again in a “JUDGMENT FREE ZONE” and this individual was giving me medical opinion. I was so shocked I didn’t even say anything and that is my fault. I should have reported that to management. 

2. Most people are aware of the company’s policies regarding transgender individuals. If you haven’t read the news articles about the woman, here in the great state of Michigan, who was banned from PF because she made a ruckus about a transgender woman in the locker room. Obviously, as a business, I believe planet fitness has every right to have policies in place saying that they allow individuals to choose what gender to identify with and can use the locker room of their choice. However, as a consumer, I have every right not to let them make money off of me. As a woman, I do not feel comfortable in a locker room where are men allowed. And most importantly, as a Christian I don’t feel comfortable supporting a company who outright mocks my Lord and Savior and his beautiful creation. I get very tired of people being politically correct and trying to please every little sexual perversion that comes up in society. We are being brainwashed that this behavior is normal and should be accepted when in the Bible it’s clearly an outright sin against God. 

So, I am disappointed because I love working out at a gym and am trying to get strong despite my health set backs. I can’t afford any other gym but Pure Michigan is coming into spring so I will be able to enjoy the great outdoors. I hope more Christians will follows suit and cancel their memberships. 

Operation: Fix Shortcakes!

February 24, 2015

I found out yesterday I will be having surgery three weeks from today. After years of excruciating pain that has gotten progressively worse and more constant, my doc is going in to have a looksie. I’ve always had a high tolerance for pain. I mean come on. I’ve had kidney stones and have several tattoos. But, I’m at my wits end with this pain. I’ve barely been able to function and my doc keeps sending me back to the ER for pain control. He suspects endometriosis. I am to the point where I just want answers. Life has been very hard and not what I expected my 30th year to look like. I already have a chronic illness and I don’t want any other ones. So, please pray for me and my doctor. Pray he will go in and find exactly what is causing my pain so we aren’t back to square one. I’ve gone through mystery illnesses before and it’s just not fun. I’m praying this will be different and he can get to the bottom of it. I don’t care how bad it is. I just want him to find what is going on. I’m so thankful for a compassionate and wise doctor to help me through all this. 

Fifty Shades of Grey

February 13, 2015

Fifty Shades of Grey. By now everyone has heard of it. People have read the book and are awaiting to see the film in theaters. Count me out. I have watched the effects of this lifestyle unravel people, families and communities.

Recently, in Detroit, Bob Bashara was convicted of first-degree murder of his wife. Prosecutors unraveled his secret BDSM lifestyle and used this as a motive to have his wife killed. I have known Bob for almost two years now. As a volunteer prison chaplain, I write and visit people who are incarcerated. Over the past two and a half years I have been in contact with over a dozen different inmates. My goal is to share the love and hope I have in Jesus Christ to these dear people who have been cast away from society. Even though people need to pay their debt to society because sin and breaking the law have severe consequence, it does not mean they are worthless trash to be forgotten. Several young people I have befriended have been convicted of murder. Thankfully, my job is not in the legal realm to decide if they are guilty or innocent. My job is to be their friend. I show up and do life with them.

Back to Fifty Shades of Grey. I urge everyone not to support it. I am not sure how any self respecting woman could read/watch it let alone work on the film in any way. This movie does not depict love, it promotes lust, abuse and control. Love is gentle, self-sacrificing and joyful not violent, controlling and manipulative. No woman should ever feel so insecure to put herself in a “relationship” of this kind. Just as I tell all my inmates, our worth can only be found in Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, so many young females will see or hear about this porn movie and think it’s ok to demean themselves to this level to please a man.

I suppose this short post is two-fold. One, sexual sin is ugly and Hollywood only perpetuates it. Two, healing and forgiveness is always possible with Christ. I love the unlovely because Christ loves me. We are all guilty of sin and are in the exact same need of God’s forgiveness whether it be for murder or talking behind someone’s back. So, I will continue to be a good friend to Bob and all my other dear ones in prison just as Christ continues to pursue me despite my disobedience to him. I am honored to be the friend of the friendless.

Pregnancy test

January 28, 2015

After another episode of excruciating pain and seeing my doctor on Monday, he sent me to the ER to get looked at. I am home now and they still don’t know what is going on but I will be following up with a new doctor on Monday to see if I am having more autoimmune problems. Being admitted in the hospital is obviously not fun and now I am exhausted, in pain and just not feeling well.

But, the most annoying part of the whole stay is the pregnancy test. I understand doctors have to cover themselves from legal issues when performing CT scans and can’t be scanning pregnant ladies. However, it shows where our culture is morally. Doctors never believe me that when I say there is no chance I am pregnant, I mean THERE IS NO CHANCE I AM PREGNANT. They don’t even let you sign a waiver to not do the test. So, because I have chosen to follow God’s commands to save sex for marriage, I have to pay for unnecessary medical tests when my bills are already sky high. Well, that and the fact that so many women lie about saying there’s no chance they are pregnant.

Because the doctors thought my case may have been a medical emergency, I didn’t fight it because I really did need that CT scan. But, it still made me angry. Our country is all for abortion and killing human life, but heaven forbid a baby gets nuked in an X ray machine? Make up your mind America.

These situations do give me the opportunities to share my faith with all my doctors. For once, I would like some respect shown from doctors for my decisions on purity instead of getting grilled and treated as a liar for my life choices. It’s very sad this is now the norm in our society. I pray that young girls who follow Christ will have the courage to stand up for their beliefs and find their worth and identity in Christ and his plan for marriage instead of caving to the cultural norms. It’s worth it.

As far as my ongoing health problems, I am thankful for finally having some doctors who will fight for me as a whole, even when my health issues aren’t in their specialty because they want me to get to the bottom of things. God continues to provide even though I don’t always understand His ways!

The Lord is Faithful

December 17, 2014

This year is coming to a close. I look back at a very interesting one indeed. I’ve experienced having literally nothing in my apartment to eat at one point, to now living in a house with plenty. He’s allowed all my specialists to figure out my health problems from all these many years. While I’m not healed, I have answers and have gone from not being able to work to working a few different jobs. I’m not in a place I want to be, but God continues to teach me it doesn’t matter. He has me where he wants me and teaches me that if I am obedient, he will use me like Moses wherever I go in the most exciting ways. He’s saved me from toxic Christians and has brought wonderful and patient people in my life. He has given me friends who are in prison to stretch me and grow me in my knowledge and love of Christ. My family continues to bless me. I am learning more and more material things are worthless. I am trying to invest myself in others’ lives. I have sacrificed so much this year and it has been so difficult. God is faithful. Even through these crazy trying times, I have laughed my head off and am thankful. I struggle with a lot, but the struggle is with the Shepherd by my side leading. When I have terrible days full of physical pain and exhaustion, I am proud of myself for getting things done and being able to just enjoy the day. My circumstances do not define me. This babbling post is just a small way to praise God for his provisions as I start to think of the new year, whatever it might bring!

Outfit of the day

November 7, 2014

I was browsing Instagram today and couldn’t stop laughing at different accounts where pretty much all the posts are selfies of the persons outfit of the day and jewelry and accessories. LOL! Ok I sometimes like to post about my essie nail polish because I love color. But, really????? Materialistic and self absorbed much?! I don’t think people realize how dumb they look promoting themselves trying to be fashionable and making it look like they have got it together. Especially from Christians…really? In the words of John Stossel, “Give me a break.” In the words of Katie Koppin, “get a life!” It’s sad christian culture praises materialism in this way. It’s great to look your best. But, when all your posts revolve around clothing…umm yea.


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