Saturday, July 29, 2006

My Last Two Weeks

In the last two weeks as a friend said "my stomach went psychotic." I have had a stomach disorder for the last 10 years. It usually isn't a huge deal--a matter taking medicine regularly and watching the foods that I eat. I have had several "flare ups" since I was diagnosed when I was 13 but they went away after adjusting medicine. The thing about Chron's (or some spell it Crohn's) Disease is that there is no cure, only ways to treat the symptoms. Doctors describe it as a nuisance more than anything.

In the last weeks I had a "flare up" worse than I have ever had before. After 8 days of not being able to eat solid foods--and sometimes liquid foods--my body was weak. A friend took me to the E.R. and I was able to get some fluid in my body as well as some much appreciated anti-nausau medicine. Part of having a stomach disorder is having regularly scheduled diagnostic tests so the doctors can see the inside of your digestive system. Since the trip to E.R. my doctor pushed up one of the tests--a lower GI (barium sure is tasty--note the sarcasm) to last Wednesday. The test would tell the doctors whether I needed stronger medicine or surgery.

I had avoided surgery in the last 10 years. It's a great short term solution but doesn't help things too much long term so doctors tend to use it as a last resort. After hearing my symptoms the doctors had thought that surgery was going to be the only option. Yet after having the tests the doctors were more hopeful in treating my stomach with stronger medicine. I'm not out of the dark yet with surgery--I meet with a Chron's Disease specialist (the perks of living in LA) on Friday for a final diagnosis.

I am feeling somewhat better now--I have even been able to eat chicken noodle soup several times, and how exciting to chew something! :) I have learned a ton over the last 2 weeks--one of the biggest lesson is what an amazing community I have around me here. From people letting me sleep on their couches (my A/C broke and I need to be in A/C while not feeling well) to bringing me movies to borrow to visits and prayers and phone calls from both sides of the coasts. It's been humbling to ask for help and see how God has created us to be loved by one another. So to my community--THANK YOU! And do keep me in your prayers y'all that my stomach continues to heal.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Shoe Shopping

For me shoe shopping is never an easy feat. I wear about size 4 in women's. To buy tennis shoes or flip flops is no big deal--kids shoes look exactly the same and are cheaper--life is good. But to buy dressy shoes--well that is a whole different story. For Ring Dance (a large ball that most junior women at UR attend to receive their class rings) I searched for months to find white shoes only to pay more money for my shoes than my dress!

The time had come this year that I needed new summer dressy sandals. My current sandals were close to 3 years old and were showing it in age and style. Every time I went to Target I cruised by the shoe section--nothing. I checked out DSW several times and came out empty handed. Finally at the end of a day-long summer shopping trip I stopped by Nordstrom. Preparing to walk out empty handed I approached a salewoman. "Hi, I need a pair of dressy black sandals that are size 4 that are adult shoes." I fully expected her to tell me that they don't have anything under a 5 or even 5 1/2 as most shoes stores did. Surprisingly she pointed me to a shelf of stylish sandals. I picked up a pair of shoes and they fit perfectly! Having never experienced such a thing I pranced around the store happily admiring my new shoes in every mirror. I walked back to the salewoman and thanked her--and told her I had never found shoes so easily before.

The salewoman went on to tell me that twice a year Nordstrom puts on an "Over Under" sale. They ship in shoes from all over the LA area that are size 5 and under or over size 10. They then email all their customers who have signed up for this mailing list and put all the shoes on sale. I was elated! Never again would I struggle to find stylish, adult shoes that fit my foot! I had to share my find with the world. So to all you with odd sized feet go to your local Nordstrom today and your shoe shopping frustrations will be over. :)

Monday, July 03, 2006

A tribute to otter pops

Ok so my whole blog isn't about otter pops. Instead I want to give y'all a taste of my summer so far...

* Two words: otter pops. It is HOT in Southern CA during the summer. I looked forward to a non-humidy filled summer for so long...but I'm not sure if dry heat is much better. It has been in the upper 90s to 100s for the last 2 or 3 weeks--every day. Living in an unairconditioned apartment I'm experiencing the heat in a very real way--I'm learning where there are free airconditioned places around Pasadena...I'm learning to not leave chocolate out--it will melt...and I'm learning the amazingness of otter pops. Those little plastic covered sticks of fake fruit tasting ice can bring so much relief in a matter of minutes. And the best part--they are cheap and you can buy them in bulk...thus I have over 100 otter pops in my freezer:)

* Two more words: Fuller hospitality. A neighbor knocked on my door a few weeks ago. Being from a different country he and I never exchanged more than waves and smiles because of a language barrier. That day he stood outside my door holding a large airconditioning unit. He thrust it toward me and mentioned the words "moving to Canada"...and "free for you." After a couple of minutes I realized he wanted to give me an A/C unit that was worth $100's of dollars. I energetically said yes and I now have air conditioning in my bedroom. So while otter pops are great--air conditioning is even better! Praise God for hospitality.

* Presby Moving and Organization Company. No we didn't start a business--but we could! In the last 3 weeks a group of Presby students have moved out 4 different friends and reorganized the garage of another friend. We have gotten the logistics of moving down--which vehicles fit futons best, how to hold elevators the longest, and are box taping experts. All joking aside--it is a really cool picture of community to as numbers of friends have come out and supported whoever is moving that day. Moving is a hard and stressful process but with good friends it's a bit easier.

* Intensives. Two weeks ago I began my first five week section of summer intensives. I have never taken summer classes before--so it has been an adjustment to think of summer as a time to do homework. I am in Pentateuch and Exegetical Methods (a class to show me how to use my Greek skills). Both classes have amazing professors and even more amazing subject matter. It's going to be a summer of studying but I'm excited about what I'm going to learn.

* Playtime. While my classes require hours of homework during the day...I'm still making sure to have some fun this summer too. Exciting things so far have included...several BBQs, a trip to Santa Monica beach, reading the Da Vinci Code (more to go), organizing my filing cabinet (that is fun for me!) and pool parties. Who knows what the summer will bring but I'm enjoying this pace of life.

I hope that you all stay cool wherever you are--and remember--try an otter pop:)