Monday, June 29, 2009

The Voice of the Lord

So, I have to admit for whatever reason the past few days I have been feeling very spiritually challenged. Not because of the people we are around, because these people are the most God loving people I have ever met, and this household radiates with God's love. But personally I am struggling with an internal battle that I just can't put my finger on. I have my suspicions as to what is causing it, but because I do not want to offend any one, especially my son, I will leave those suspicions to myself. I will say I am feeling very "dishonored" in the biblical sense of parenthood and I have been down on my knees all morning asking the Lord to help resolve those feelings.

A long time ago in a bible study that I attended at our old church one of the older woman told us that she read Psalms every morning. She had this little system that she read them by that correlated with the calendar, and I always thought that was so neat. She had told us that by doing this she was really amazed at how that particular Psalm would fit her day or how it would stay in her mind all day in preparedness for what was going to happen to her. Although I don't do this system every day, and I probably really should, I do it when I am feeling really discouraged or out of sorts. Today I sat down with my bible and an excellent cup of coffee and opened my bible to Psalm 29 (because today is the 29th). I am so thankful we have such an awesome God, because for those of you who don't know what Psalm 29 says here is just a piece of it, I encourage you to look it up today.

"The voice of the Lord is powerful,
the voice of the Lord is majestic,
the voice of the Lord breaks the cedars"
Psalm 29 4-5

"The Lord gives strength to his people,
the Lord blesses his people with peace."
Psalm 29 verse 11

Like I said these are just a few verses, but again I was smacked in the head on how I need to sit quietly and listen to the voice of the Lord, because it is powerful, it is majestic, and more importantly it is so loud and wonderful that it can break the enemy and build up my spirit. The Lord will give strength to me because I am one of his people, and he will bless me with peace today, because he says he will.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


David was lucky enough to make real friends when he was growing up in Tehachapi. Not just friends that you see at the store and say hi once in awhile, but real honest too goodness friends that will last him a life time. One of those friends is getting married, in Washington TODAY. When we were first discharged from the hospital back in March, getting to go to Washington for the wedding was a big deal to Dave, he really wanted to be able to go and support his friend make this huge life commitment. The doctors saw no problem with it then but told us it would be all up to how he was doing by that time. Well..... we arrived in Bothell, Washington (about 20 min outside Seattle) on Thursday afternoon after a very long drive. I made the trip with Dave and the little kids, Doug couldn't make it because of work, but we had the best drive up here.

Seeing my son's face when we arrived and he was getting to see all his buddies for the first time since all this happened was one of the greatest moments of my life. I could tell that he instantly felt "normal". What a wonderful feeling that must have been for him, after all these months he finally is doing things again to make his life worth living. I have to say that the boy is impressing me with how well he is taking care of himself here. I was a little worried, mostly because when we get weekend passes home he pretty much throws caution to the wind and doesn't do what he is supposed to. But before we came up here he and I had a long talk, I love those talks with my boy, and he asked me to please help him stay on track. He knows he is not quite strong enough yet to do it on his own, and I was honored and pleased that he realized that and didn't feel ashamed to ask. We worked out a beautiful system together to keep the "peace" as far as his health is concerned, and I have to say it is wonderful to watch it work out.

David is doing just wonderful up here, taking his meds, his vitals, and his blood sugar as needed and not being a brat about it!! HAHA His friends are being so supportive and really show that they understand what he went through and that he can't do quite everything that they can yet. I was so proud of him yesterday, all of the guys were doing a bachelor thing, and that included paint balling. David stood up for himself by saying he couldn't do that, and the other guys were supportive and understanding. I can't imagine how hard that was for him to see all of them go and have fun doing that, but he made it work. He stayed back and visited with the people we are staying with, called a friend back in California, and just made the best of it. WOW! On top of that he called Bonnie because his blood pressure was high and he has never done that before without prompting! I wasn't even here, I had taken the little kids into Seattle. When I heard that my eyes welled up with tears, because I knew right then that he is going to be ok, and he is going to do what he needs to in this life to take care of himself.

Once again I am so amazed by what an awesome God we have, as I type this I am crying. He has used my son to teach me so very much these past few months, just as I have commented in the previous post. Yesterday I saw first hand that the Lord will guide, prompt, but most importantly take care of David always. And because my son is the strong Christian that he is, he has the spirit inside of him to listen to those promptings and do what is right. I have never felt such peace as I did yesterday. I finally felt comfort and realized that we are all going to be ok.

Through David I was introduced to some people he met in Washington, he used to date their daughter and when he was in the hospital the mother would call me many times and email many times. We developed a strong friendship these last 7 months through email, phone calls, and Instant Messenger on Face Book. I longed for the day when I could meet this truly wonderful woman that I can now call one of my very best friends, and that day came on Thursday. We are staying with her and her family here in Washington, and it just feels like home. It is so amazing how our Lord works, Michelle and I both know that she and I were meant to be friends in this life and that David was the vessel in which to make that happen. She, her husband Brian, and their three girls are such a big part of my life now, I can't imagine not having them in it. They love David so much, and that just makes me so proud and so happy that my boy has so many people that he can lean on for support all over this world.

Needless to say we are having a wonderful time, David is hanging out with so many of his friends that he has been missing, and he is just doing great here. The little kids are having a wonderful time on vacation with just mommy, whom they have missed so very much, and I am just in a state of bliss. I have all 3 kids with me and we are sharing some special times together, all of us. Today we will watch a young man that I have seen grow up enter into marriage, that just amazes me. I woke up very early this morning, that early Washington sun shining through the window, and I just prayed for them and their new life together. And I thanked my gracious God for giving my son the breath of life to be here to see this happen today. Isn't our God an amazing, wonderful God, I stand in awe of him, I really do. He makes all things possible in this life and I know I will never doubt him or the plans he has for me or my children.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Lessons I have Learned

In the education field you quickly realize that every moment is a teachable moment, no matter what you are doing. I sometimes wonder if that is how God feels about us... that he is constantly using every moment in our lives to teach us something, he is the ultimate teacher of all things. I for one have learned an incredible amount of things over the past 6 months. Things about myself as a person, the medical field, my family, the Lord, David, and so much more. When I really stop and think about everything that I have learned, even the little things it is really amazing to me. What amazes me and glorifies me is that our Lord uses every single thing in our daily lives to teach us, how great is that.

I have learned both big and little things in these past few months, so first I will start off with the little things....

  • I have learned that I really like Chipolte, even though I was sure I would hate it, David forced me to go there one day and now I am addicted!
  • I have learned that you really can survive on a limited amount of kitchen supplies in order to cook meals!
  • I have learned that pretty much everything we eat in America is unhealthy for us, and that has depressed me greatly.
  • I have learned that time passes very quickly for someone that has nothing to do all day.
  • I have learned that FaceBook is incredibly addicting, but so much fun.
  • I have learned that with a GPS you can find pretty much anything at anytime.
  • I have learned that pretty much all towns have 3 things that I can't live without... Starbucks, Target, and Costco.
  • I have learned that pizza from "Pizza My Heart" is probably the best pizza in the world.
  • I have learned that you can find a lot of happiness by just hanging out with your cat all day.
  • I have learned that as long as you have a library near you and a great park, life can be very good.
And now for the big ones, the more self inspired ones, that I never knew I would have ever had the opportunity to learn.

  • I have learned that God is with you ALL the time, ANYWHERE, no matter what.
  • I have learned who my real friends are, and I treasure them so deeply, because without them I could have done none of this these past months.
  • Sadly, I have learned who our real family support system is, and even though that makes me sad in some ways, I am so glad for the family that we do have in our lives.
  • I have learned that people who don't even know us love us and care for us more then anything in the world.
  • I have learned that my husband is by far the greatest man in the universe, he has done so much these past few months all on his own, I am in total awe of him.
  • I have learned that you can truly function on very little sleep if you have to.
  • I have learned pretty much everything is to know about Cardiomyopathy, the Jarvick, and a long term stay in the ICU.
  • I have learned that the Lord will provide you with what you need and when you need it, no matter what it is.
  • I have learned that I can and will make friends wherever I go, and I will always love them and they will always be a part of me.
  • I have learned that John and Claire are two very strong little beings, and I am oh so proud of them.
  • I have learned that NOTHING, absolutely nothing is more important in this world then your family, and when times are tough you need to stick beside each other and stand by each other with a loving heart.
  • I have learned that prayer really does change things, you may not like the way it changes things, but it does change things.
  • I have learned that I can feel Gods presence where ever I am.
  • I have learned to accept the things that I can not change.
  • I have learned to give up some of that control that I have had all my life and lean on the Lord and to trust in him.
  • I have learned that I have an amazing support system of family, friends, church family, and co workers.
I could go on and on about the things I have learned, but the truth is I am still learning. Every day the Lord presents a new challenge in my life that I must learn from... I am glad that I have had this opportunity to really grow closer to the Lord and learn to really listen to him.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

90 days = 3 Months Post Transplant

Can I just say YAHOO!! I mean really.... we have made it to that glorious 3 month mark and I am oh so proud of my boy! He has had some pretty big stumbles and the fact of the matter is he still will.... but he has made it 3 MONTHS PAST TRANSPLANT. This is a big deal... the next biggie is 6 months and then the next one is 12 months.... I can't wait for those days... it will be oh so wonderful. He is such a great kid... I just love him so much. Really, I wish I could squeeze him and tell him that every single day... but big sigh... he is also a 20 year old man and isn't too hip on the old mom squeezing and loving on him ALL the time.

He got to say "adios" to the mask today... and that was a big step. Even though he will still have to wear it to the hospital for visits and anytime he is around construction or open fields... for the most part it is gone... and with that presented a whole new lease on life for him. I saw it in his face this morning. He was given some challenges to do this week and I really think he has changed his outlook some and is going to do them... I am praying. I also know that we have a very AWESOME God and he will do AWESOME things.... he already has. I am just excited to see what he has planned for this journey next.

I want to write more, but I am oh so tired. We had a long day at clinic today, which began very early, I still have the little ones with me... and I am just tuckered out. For those of you praying for our dear Claire, she is going in on Monday morning to have an Endoscopy done as well as a Colonoscopy done to see if they can get some answers and more test results. She will be put under for both of these procedures, but none the less it is not going to be a fun day.

So I am signing off for tonight.... but I just couldn't let this FANTASTIC 90 DAY mark go unnoticed on the blog... I am so happy, over joyed, filled with Gods never ending love, and SOOO SOOO proud of Dave for making it to this milestone....

Friday, June 5, 2009


Thursday and today were crazy days for us....... both appointments were informational and long... but they each provided good answers! David's appointment went really well in the fact that his heart appears to be doing great, his Ejection Fraction was at 68% which is terrific and the highest number he has ever had. They did a lot of blood tests and the docs are leaning towards this being a diabetes issue and not a heart issue. He came down with medically induced diabetes a couple of weeks ago which they told him would possibly happen after transplant because of all the medicines he has, but his diet hasn't helped the situation. So we need prayers for a change of "heart" on that one.

So today the doctors told us that he is for sure having a diabetes problem and we have to go back in on Monday for more testing and another clinic visit. They are unhappy about how out of control it is and his blood pressure is still not under control so they want to get a handle on that as well. All things that need to be taken care of before we can go home!!

Here is my prayer request, that David continue to have the positive outlook that he currently has but also WANT to make the EXTREME diet and exercise changes that they are asking him to do. He is unwilling and unmotivated to do so, I can only do so much in the cooking for him area, he is 20! I know he wants to, but we have all been 20 before and we all know how hard this is for him. So please pray for him and also if any of you talk to him please encourage him to make these healthy lifestyle choices!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A New Week.....

Things have been so crazy this past week and I have been feeling a bit frazzled... a good friend of mine suggested tonight that I blog.... and he was so right!! So here I am back at the ol' familiar keyboard doing what I do best, airing out my dirty laundry for the whole world to see! HAHA No really, it has been quite an up and down past 7 days and not just in the aspect of David. We went home for the weekend, we had out of town guests, we came back, then I traveled back for the kids last day of school, and now all 3 kids are here with me at the "homtel". In between all of that Claire has gotten very ill and the docs will begin testing her tomorrow to see what is going on with her (right now they are thinking possibly Celiac Disease) and then tonight David has 'fessed' up to not feeling up to par the past few days and the Stanford staff are a bit worried by his symptoms! So where do I begin......

Lets start with last week's clinic visit, all was pretty standard stuff. His blood pressure is still really too high and the doctors aren't happy or encouraged by that. So they doubled his blood pressure medicine because they really want to get that down as soon as possible. In addition to that his blood sugars are also too high so they doubled that medicine as well. He needs to exercise more which he really does not and will not do, that will help both of those things a great deal, but he is being very stubborn about that. His potassium levels were low so they also started him on a potassium pill this last week. His biopsy was good showing 0 rejection and he had a good echo, so that was all very pleasing. We just need to get the blood pressure and blood sugar under control before they will let us go home, probably another 4 weeks is what they are thinking.

Tonight however a whole other can of worms was opened, and it is something that I am trying to just give to God. For the past 4-5 days David has just been a big sloth! He hasn't wanted to get out of bed, he has been sleeping all day, taking lots of naps and just acting really tired. Well today I had enough of it and thought he was falling into some old habits that I thought we had gotten past! So I asked him about it, that is when he told me that he wished he had energy but he was just physically wiped out, that in the last 5 days it was like a major change in his body has occurred. He couldn't even do as much at Physical Therapy as he could last week because he was so tired. He wants to get out of bed but he physically can't, this worried me and I could tell by looking at him that he just didn't feel good so I called our nurse right away. She asked him a series of questions and was on the phone with us for a long time.

We don't have a normal clinic visit tomorrow because we are finally on every other week appointments, but some of his symptoms are alarming. Here are just a few, extreme lethargicness, frequent urination, not sleeping well at night, no appetite, and feeling like something is just "off". Because of all of these and more we are going in tomorrow at 8am for him to be seen and more then likely they will do an echo at the same time just to make sure everything is A-OK with that brand new ticker.

I of course am a nervous wreck on one hand, and even broke down on the phone with the nurse tonight. More so because I feel like I just can't take anymore, but because our God is so good he provided me with an awesome phone call from a friend tonight that encouraged me that I can get through this next step with ease, she had no idea any of this was going on and so I truly know that the phone call and the talk with her was God led.

So tomorrow we will be at doctors offices all day long, and the kids are here with me, so please pray for them as well as David. We take David in at 8am and then Claire goes in at 10:15am to be seen by a pediatrician. The Lord will be by our side tomorrow, I know this without a doubt, he hasn't stranded me yet..... I will keep you all updated.....