January 2, 2011

Welcome 2011!

The beginning of the new year is the perfect time to stop and reflect on the past year, and make a few goals for the new year.
This past year has been..well, it's been full of both trials and triumphs for me and my entire family.
I haven't written about the trials or the triumphs that went with them, because my blog has been my place to escape.  To pretend that everything was normal.  I didn't want to think about anything other than happy, joyful stuff while I was on my blog.  I didn't want to answer a bunch of questions.
Maybe I was wrong in doing that.  Maybe I missed out on a chance to encourage someone because I omitted hard stuff in life.   I'll never know, but right or wrong I can't go back and change it now.
However, I will tell you all a bit about what's been going on in my life throughout this past year...
My mom has had a lot of health problems this year.  A lot. 
I'll try to keep this brief...and I hope it makes sense;)
For 4 years, the doctors said she had Parkinson's disease.  Then around the beginning of 2010, she started having panic attacks, and a lot of other weird problems.  She was in and out of the emergency room a lot, including twice while my brother and I were back east visiting relatives in March, although I didn't know that until much later.  The doctors just couldn't figure out what was wrong with her.  It all came to a head in June, right after my brother graduated (the Lord's timing is perfect), when we discovered that my mom had been overdosed on her Parkinson's medication. 
I won't tell you what I thought of her doctor and his office staff right about then because, well, it wasn't very nice, but it was sheer irresponsibility on their part.  If she had continued to take the amount of medication they had prescribed for her, it probably would have killed her.  I thank the Lord that he showed us what was wrong in time.
So, we then had to get her off of the drugs she was on.  Not an easy task.  You can't just stop giving someone a drug, you have to ween them off slowly.  My dad was (and still is:) an absolutely amazing example of love.  He did so much for my mom during that time, and still does.  She couldn't walk or get out of bed by herself, and many times she had trouble sleeping at night.  She was still having panic attacks (because of the drug overdose), and other side effects, and my dad was severely sleep deprived, so we finally decided to have her admitted to the hospital. She was in the hospital for about a month. 
Right before she came home, my cousin Abbie came out for her long anticipated visit.  Abbie, you'll never know what a blessing you were.  We desperately needed someone to laugh with:)  And I desperately needed a break, which our epic pilgrimage provided.  I had so much fun traveling with you Cuz!
Well, to try and keep this story short (everyone still awake?;), for a long time we had no idea what was wrong with my mom.  The doctors had no idea what was wrong with my mom.  A lot of her problems were related to the drug overdose - oh, and before I forget, while she was at the hospital they put her on another drug, which we had to ween her off of once she came home.  Thank you, hospital staff!  We needed that - but there were other problems.  Some of the doctors thought she still had Parkinson's, while others didn't. 
After several neurologists, two (or was it three?) naturopath, and several other doctors, we finally discovered last month that she has Lyme disease.    So, she didn't have Parkinson's to begin with.
Now, she's going to start being treated for Lyme (which is curable), and everything is looking much, much better.  Everything that happened this past year is starting to fade away like a bad dream.
But I know it was part of God's plan.  I learned so much.  I grew so much.  It was painful, and sometimes I really just wanted to give up, but God gave me the strength to go on.  It really taught me to rely on Him for my strength.  I can't even begin to tell you everything that I learned.
And not just spiritual things either.  Because my mom wasn't able to, I took over running the household.  The planning, the grocery shopping, the cleaning, the laundry, the cooking, on top of my animal chores.  It was a lot.  I am so thankful for my dad and my brother.  I couldn't have done it without their help.
The bright side is, I am now fully confident in my ability to run a household=) 
So, that's what has been happening this year.
And we're still alive!  My mom is still alive, thank the Lord!  She still can't walk on her own, but she is improving, slowly, but surely.
I thank the Lord for the lessons He taught me.  Looking back, I can see His hand in everything that happened.
Oh, and I no longer trust doctors.  At all.  Period.
Thank you, my dear readers, for taking the time to read this.  I'm so thankful for each and every one of you.
And now, my official list of Goals for 2011!
  1. Read and study my Bible more, and talk, really talk, to God more often.
  2. "Fast" from movies the first week of every month - I watch way too many movies.
  3. Ride Bob (my horse) and Freckles (my mom's pony) at least once a week each.  More during the summer=)
  4. Eat more fruits and veggies and drink more water.  I'm pretty much a meat and potatoes kind of girl, and I seriously need to change that.
  5. Be in bed, with the lights out, before 11 o'clock every night.   What?  I can dream, can't I?;)
  6. See my cousins;)
  7. Hike and trail ride more often...once the snow is gone, that is.
  8. Get a Border Collie puppy.  I hope=)
  9. Drive somewhere fun  with Alex (and maybe a few friends;) that's at least an hour away - I might as well enjoy having my drivers license, right?
And that's about it:)
I hope 2011 is a wonderful year for you all!  The Lord has great things in store for us!

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