A Work In Progress

A Work In Progress

Friday, January 27, 2012

My Uninvited & Unwanted Guest

     I have an uninvited and unwanted guest who has chosen to visit me 3 times in the past 7 months.  The first time it chose to visit a week and a half (end of June) before we flew to FL for our destination wedding.  The next time was 4 months after that (end of October), and then it came back to visit me 3 months later (now - end of January). This guest just really must like me, and more specifically loves my legs!  In June it favored my right leg and the past 2 times it has preferred my left leg. One would think it would get the hint that the feeling is definitely NOT mutual!  :)

     This guest is called Cellulitis. It is an infection, which left untreated, can turn septic in your system and turn very serious very quickly.  My husband's father was hospitalized for a week with it years ago. Thankfully, each time I have had it I've gotten to the Dr. right away and was put on antibiotics and didn't need to be hospitalized.  However, I have used more vacation days for this infection than I would care to. 

     I have had circulation problems in my legs/ankles for as long as I can remember and about 3 years ago I was finally diagnosed with Venous Insufficiency, you can click on the previous link to read a blog I wrote about it in 2009.  Here is an article that explains Venous Insufficiency and below is a diagram that compares normal veins in the lower legs to abnormal veins in the lower legs:

     My ankles and lower legs swell frequently, so that is nothing new.  It can be annoying and inconvenient and makes it hard to fit my feet into my shoes at times. However, I don't lose time from work because of it.   When I first got Cellulitis before the wedding, it was very scary because I didn't know what it was.  The 2nd and 3rd time it came, I knew what it was and knew I needed to get myself to the Dr. right away to get started on the antibiotics.  The Dr.'s have told me I am much more prone to cellulitis because of my venous insufficiency.  Cellulitis can be caused by being extremely obese, but my Dr. said I am not in that category. 

I am thankful my Dr. is taking this seriously.  She said the first two times someone has cellulitis, they chalk it up to being a "fluke thing", but because I have had it 3 times in 7 months, there is something else going on.  First she is going to have me fast for 12 hours and get my blood drawn.  If everything is normal, she is then going to refer me to a Vascular Surgeon. 

It has been very hard for me to sit still, harder as I'm starting to feel a bit better, because I am the "Team Captain" for a Walking Challenge. I was consistently getting a high number of steps a day, and now this is really setting me back. However, it's better than the alternative of ending up in the hospital!

I am very blessed to have an amazing husband who called off work yesterday to take care of me and make sure I was following the Dr.'s orders! :)  Things like being sick were so much harder without someone around to help.  I also have awesome friends and family who have texted, called, stopped over to visit, shown me FB love and offered to help.  God is good and I am so thankful that the antibiotics have worked pretty quickly each time, and saved me a stay or three in the hospital!  The Dr. said I can go back to work on Monday, so at least I will only have to use 2 vacation days this time around. She also said I can resume my walking on Monday!  Yay! :)  I hope I'm feeling up to it.

Thank you very much for your thoughts and prayers as we continue to get to the bottom of this!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

We've Been Happily Married For 200 Days Today!

     Two hundred days ago today I married the love of my life!  As many of you know, I love numbers and statistics! :)  Well, I've been alive (outside of the womb) for 13,901 days, and my first date with Jonathan was 838 days ago!  That means I lived 13,063 days without Jonathan in my life.  We got engaged 411 days ago and promised to love each other and be faithful to each other for the rest of our earthly lives 200 days ago today.   

    For many years, I felt God was depriving me of something that many others around me had, a companion to share their life with.  I seriously thought it would never happen to me!  He wasn't depriving me though, he was only preparing me for the man he had in mind for me. He had my best interest at heart all along, no matter what my emotions happened to be at any given moment.  I was 35, almost 36 years old when I met Jonathan.  I was 36, almost 37 when we got engaged, and I was 37 and a half and 5 days when we got married!  I lived a very large portion of my life as a single person.  I know the hurt and pain of feeling alone and feeling like I didn't belong.  This is why I believe I am sensitive to the feelings of single people now. 

     It might sound cliche, but I wouldn't trade all of those single days for anything.  Why? Because I wouldn't be the person I am today and I wouldn't be with Jonathan today.  God used those years to mold me and to mold Jonathan so that at just the right time we would be an almost perfect (nothing in life is perfect!) match for each other!  He continues to mold us into the couple he wants us to be, but had I not experienced all of those lonely days/years, I wouldn't be as appreciative of what I have now.  I don't buy the "you complete me" crap.  However, when you find your true love, there is a sense of contentment and peace that is hard to explain.  I just finally feel like I'm "home".  Here is a picture of us at our wedding ceremony.

This is the face of a very happily very newly (like 30 minutes tops) married bride! :)
We continue to laugh together on a daily basis. I'm so thankful God sent me someone who makes me laugh more than anyone else I know! :)
The pic below is one of my new favorite pics from our special day!  We look so happy, so in love, so content!  See the bird, or shadow of the bird in the pic? I feel like that is a sign of God's presence in this beautiful moment that was so beautifully captured by my wonderful SIL Sandy of Sandra Ellen Photography. Thank you Sandy for capturing these special moments for us! 

So, if any of my readers are currently single, there is hope! Jesus loves you and He only has His best in mind for you! You are a complete person!  Please don't settle, just to have a companion!   Waiting for His best, is worlds better than anything you could imagine for yourself.

Our wedding verse was Psalm 68:6a:  "God sets the lonely in families."  We were lonely and now we are a family!  God is faithful! :)

Happy 200th day of being married to me Jonathan! 

I love you and I'm so thankful for you!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The J-La-Sta 10,000 Steps Walking Challenge!

On December 29th, 2011 I mentioned on Facebook that I would be starting The J-La-Sta 10,000 Steps Walking Challenge.  I also mentioned that I would be posting a blog shortly regarding the details. This is that blog! :)  I am SO excited to start this Challenge and to have you join me in this Challenge!  I believe that if we have others to be accountable to and hold each other accountable, we are more likely to succeed.  Even if you only take 10 steps more tomorrow than you did today, that is a Success!  I know how overwhelming the number "10,000" sounds!  I've been thinking about when this challenge would start and I've finally come up with a date.  That date is Sunday, January 8th, 2012.  Why January 8th?  Well, you see, I wanted to give you all enough time to get a pedometer if you didn't already have one, and a chance to start walking for a few days to see how many steps you walk in a typical day. January 8th is 10 days from when I first mentioned this challenge and it is 5 days from the posting of this blog. So, you have 5 days to get your Pedometer and to start walking before the challenge starts. The 2nd reason I chose January 8th as the start date is that I have gained weight since I got married 6 months ago (July 8th, 2011).  I want to lose weight for the 2nd 6 months of my Marriage! :)

 Here are some important things to remember if you are considering taking part in this challenge:

  • The challenge will go for 12 weeks to get us thru the winter months.  The challenge will end on Saturday, March 31st, 2012.
  • You do not need to start at 10,000 steps a day!  If you haven't been physically active, this would be a very bad idea!  You need to work up to 10,000 steps a day.  For example, when I started approximately 3 weeks ago, I started at 6,000ish steps.  I am now up to 7,000-8,000ish steps per day.  I am gradually working toward 10,000 steps a day. Before I started walking I bet I was doing 3,000 steps or less per day. Once I get to 10,000 steps per day on a regular basis, I'm sure I will have some bad days.  We are all human.  That's OK!  Just start again the next day!
  • The Pedometer I currently own has proven to be my best one yet!  I have owned it for 4 weeks now and it is still working.  It doesn't give extra steps while using the restroom, and it doesn't make the annoying clicking noises.  If this Pedometer is not in your Budget, that's ok too, any Pedometer is better than no Pedometer!  I promise you my steps have increased just from wearing a Pedometer! I'm such a numbers gal, and anal too!  Here is the link for the Pedometer I have: J-La-Sta's Pedometer.  Here is a picture of it.  I even get to wear it around my neck!  Have I mentioned that I LOVE my new Pedometer?! :)   It even keeps the past 7 days steps in it's memory.
  • You may say, "This weather is horrible (if you live anywhere near the Midwest!), it is too cold and there is too much snow!".  In that case, can you find somewhere indoors to walk, ie, a mall?  I have been walking on a 100 step walking path in the basement at work on all of my breaks.  As my Dad frequently quoted my Grandma, "Where there is a will, there is a way!". 
  • You can track your steps on the following website: http://www.10000steps.org.au/.  It takes 2 minutes to set up an account and the website is super user friendly.  If you FB message me with your personal email address after you have created an account with thatemail  address, I can add you to the team.  We can see each others daily steps and therefore can cheer each other on and encourage each other! :)  Please remember they are in Australia, so they are already on the next day when you may be tracking your steps in the evening. They also list the day before the month when listing the dates, whereas we list the month first and then the day.
  • I promise to encourage you to succeed! Any step toward taking better care of ourselves is a step in the right direction.  Look at it this way, even if you only end up doing an average of 7,500 steps a day, I would bet that is more steps than you are taking on a daily basis today.                                     
  • If you are anything like me and are currently experiencing the post holiday/winter blues, getting moving can help with depression!
  • I will be thinking of a small prize for the the person who walks the most steps between January 8th and March 31st.  There will also be a 1st runner up for The J-La-Sta 10,000 Steps Challenge.  If that winner or 1st runner up is me, I will still get myself a prize! :) 
Please let me know if you would like to be a part of this challenge!  I will be happy to answer any questions you may have!

Looking forward to "walking with you" as we accomplish our health and/or weight loss goals! :)

Here's to a Happy and Healthy 2012!