Devestation Beckons an Urgent Response

*NOTE* Before I get into why I made this post, please understand that to me this is another mission opportunity. Lost souls demand an urgent response from Christ-followers to go out into the world, which can and should include but is not secluded to whereever they are now, and "make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19a)". Period. Both my title and post are not negating this. They were simply formed from the urge in my heart and soul combined with the best possible title/posting I could give with the limitations of the English language. Please read keeping this in mind. Thanks! *END NOTE*

Links to footage and news articles in both devestating situations:
Japan - Raw Footage              Japan - CNN article                Japan - BBC

I know Japan is still recovering and will be for a long time. The South here in the United States is now in devestation as well (I just learned of it last night). The earth is beckoning for a major response; urgency is demanded in these situations. Those who are able to go help in the relief effort should. Those who are able to give financially should. All should be praying that God will work in miraculous ways, heal and comfort the hearts of those who have lost someone or been effected by the devestation in any way (and I'm not saying it will be soon. The grieving process is LONG and HARD! Just that God would meet them in the place they are in), heal those who are currently hospitalized, and harvest those who are ripe for Him.

I cannot even imagine a life without Christ in either of these situations. The overwhelming peace He gives - I would live with constant, life-altering, fear and nightmares just by watching this if it were not for Him.

Dear Jesus, please show those who will that you offer peace even in the most humanly incomprehensible situations! Move in the hearts of those who are able to help physically and financially. Move in the world to lift millions of prayers interceding for those in these situations. May we bond together to make a force strong for Your glory and Your praise!


3 Weeks and Counting...

That's right: the newest member of Ben and my family is due to arrive somewhere around May 17. I cannot wait for little Louis to get here. We already have his kennel set up, food and water bowl arranged complete with a mat, a few toys (which we will probably be buying a few more), and a pillow for him to lay on in our living area.

Louis Scy at 4 weeks
Our Little Louis

It is an understatement to say I am elated. Some say I am worse than an expecting mother. I honestly don't really care. You might think I'm crazy, but I just love animals and couldn't love my little buddy more :)


The Weirdness of Recurring Dreams

This post is prompted by Imagination Prompt Generator:

The question is: "Do you have recurring dreams? What are they about?"

Typically I don't have too much trouble coming up with ideas to talk about. However, as I lay healing in my recliner, I have little to go on. Very, very boring, yet very much needed in this time. So, I averted to this blog prompt.

Anywho; let's get on with it shall we?

This prompt makes me laugh because here is what it takes me back to:

I frequently do have recurring dreams and many a time they revolve around some theme in my life at that time. The most prevalent two recurring dreams I've ever had were in my young childhood; I'm talking before I was 10.

My older sister and I used to have a time getting along. She was as tomboy-ish as a girl could get (aka her dream was to be THE FIRST female hocky player or NFL football player. You know something real boyish along those lines) and I was as sensitive as you could make them (aka cry at the drop of a pin or slightest bit of sarcasm). She was outdoors being rough or playing sports, while I spent my time as alone as ever in the world of books.

This, to me, is the drive behind both dreams - the fact we were not BFF and frequently argued. I will share one of them with you today. Be prepared for length and detail. I still remember it this vividly.

It went a little something like this:

The setting was our families home here in Baton Rouge, LA, we were currently living in (as in we lived there while I had this dream). This house was a rental surrounded by land and just down the road from the levee. Needless to say, just across from us was a ditch that led down from the levee in effort to keep flooding to a minimum during outpourings of rain. The street was lined with trees in its entirety on both sides which made for a nice, straight pathway. My family would frequently take walks or ride our bikes down it.

The dream always began with Lindsey and I standing outside the front door beginning a search for our cat, Ricky. Ricky had been missing for a day or so, which was highly unusual for our friendly animal. Thus we began taking a walk and calling his name.

"Ricky! Here kitty kitty kitty!"

"Ricky where are you!?"

"Ricky, please come home!"

Our lungs screamed and pushed words out as fast as they could. With urgency we scaled the area and continued walking down the street headed towards the levee. The closer to the levee we got, the darker it became. Suddenly, I felt an arm jut out in front to halt me. I looked up at Lindsey's face to see sheer horror plastered across every muscle and widen her eyes. As I looked down to see what had her frozen in place, I began to scream:

"Lindsey! Where did that come from?! Why is there no body with it?"

Down in the ditch, amidst a blood stained the ground were a pair of hands and feet devoid of an attached body and no body near to own them. We were horrified. Our feet were stuck to the pavement as though someone had slapped tar on our shoes and superglued our feet in the shoes. As I remained screaming and Lindsey began hyperventilating, the hands and feet both began to move.

Out of no where, one hand held a shining blade, dripping with blood. Lindsey's will finally allowed her to move, but I remained planted. As Lindsey bolted, I continued to scream for what seemed like hours but could have only been seconds. Not long after Lindsey had begun sprinting did I find my own will to run. As I trailed behind her, the hands and feet began climbing up the ditch.

It seemed as though ages had passed when I finally witnessed Lindsey reach the house and scurry into the door. As I ran up the driveway, I realized the hands and feet had gained on me. I might not make it to the door. Barely breathing, I reached my destination and with angst began attempting to open the door.

My first attempt failed, which I attributed to the panic coursing my vains. So I pulled again. Nothing. It wouldn't budge. The door was locked. Lindsey had locked me outside of the house.

"Help! SAVE ME! Please someone open the door!!" I yelled. I banged on the door. I yelled some more.

Nothing. As my pacing heart gave in to panic, I turned. Just as I did, the hands and feet, jumped towards me. They quickly did their deed. As that occurred, I would always realize I was a spirit looking over my dead body, wondering why my older sister had locked me out.

I always remember having the thought, "I know she doesn't like me but that much?!" This would come just before I would jolt in my bed.

I was maybe 7 years-old when I had this recurring dream. Horrific, I know. Even worse was that for weeks on end it played over and over only to disturb my nights sleep. After weeks of praying and singing the Steve Green song "When I am afraid" from the Hide 'Em In Your Heart children's music tape, the dream finally ceased.

I'm sure I will never forget it, but it has been years since it has tormented me. Not that I don't have nightmares anymore, but I certainly have not had a dream where my older sister allowed me to die in over 14 years. I do think it's interesting because in that dream, amongst many others, I have an answer to most people's question: "If you die in your dream do you die in your sleep?" Of course, most people say you can never know, due to the nature of the question.

However, I say you can. I frequently have seen myself die in dreams. Only to wake up and wonder what happened and where I am. Then I become sad because I realize I'm not dead and I'm not in Heaven. Pardon the depressing thought there, but as an alien in this world and a Soldier for Christ, I frequently find myself longing for my true home. SO, when I wake up from a dream where I thought I died to find myself here, it is a little disappointing.

I love my hubby, my family, and friends more than anything. Well, not more than Jesus, or at least I truly aspire to keep Him first in all. But I'm not wishing myself dead because I have no one here. I'm just sad when I dream I have died and find myself awake in this world because I'm not with the Creator of the Universe, the One my heart is made to glorify and worship!


Healing...I wish it was like Magic

Oh the boredom that sets in. And the largest problem: I know that were I to try and do everything in my normal daily routine (aka work, clean, cook, etc), I would fail miserably. I can barely take a shower without needing a 3 to 4 hour nap afterwards.

I walk in the kitchen, prepare leftovers on a plate, eat the left overs, have possibly enough energy to rinse the plate off, which takes me 10x longer right now, and sit in my recliner to pass out.

You would think that I was 97 years-old with a ton of health problems the way I sleep right now. I can go to bed at 2000 H and not wake up, save a possible bathroom trip at 0500 H which is when my bladder is trained that I am awake, until 0830/0900 H. That's over 12 hours of sleep. And then what do I do: I take at least two more 3 hour naps in the day.

The great part is that I know it's allowing my body to heal. I can feel all three of my incisions itching which means they are beginning to heal. They are even beginning to appear more closed and slightly, and I mean slightly smaller.

Ahh... to the life of healing: may I not remember most of these hours that ADD seems to suck away since I cannot remain focused on any one thing for longer than an hour!


The Crazy Unplanned

I knew there are always the unplanned, unknown events in life. I just typically don't take the time to worry about it. The great part of that is when they come I typically just take it as it goes. The phrase "C'est la vie" comes to mind frequently ("Such is life" for those who are unfamiliar with the expression). Of course Christ is the driving point behind all of that: in Matthew 6:27, Jesus says, "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?".

I don't say all this to make it sound like I don't worry or as a pat-on-the-back statement because I'm better than everyone else. I have, do, and will struggle with worry in my life. It's just that through time with Christ and constant prayer, I have found myself in a place where I more easily realease to Him the situations that worry me, whether in the here and now or to come. Like Christ said, there is not anything worrying will change. 

Anyway, I prefaced this post with that becuase the past couple days of my life have been permeated by opportunities to worry. I have thankfully held tight to my Savior who has helped me focus on Him and allow everything to play out as it will. It all began the morning of Thursday, April 21.

I was preparing to go to work when I looked at Ben, my husband, and said, "I have this really weird pain in my RLQ (Right Lower Quadrant - aka right abdomen). Oh well, I think it will go away."

We both left for work and I didn't think anything of it. However, as the morning persisted, so did the pain. And it didn't decrease. It just kept increasing in sharpness and severeity. Finally, one of the nurses I work with told me I really should call my doctor. I relented and did around 1100 H CST. 

I told his nurse what was going on and what I thought it wasn't: I was almost 100% sure it wasn't a UTI (no LBP, no burning during or frequent urination, no discharge or discoloration, and definitely no weird smell) and that it wasn't related to "that time of the month" (I had JUST finished my period with no complications and not much pain). She said she would call me back after she spoke with him.

When we finally quit playing phone tag from going to lunch (yes, crazy me in pain ate lunch), Dr. Cooley's nurse told me I needed to come see him ASAP. By this point I was beginning to wonder if it was my appendix but just kept taking it as it came. I told my partner what was going on, clocked out, and checked in. This all happened around  1400 H CST.

After the examination, Dr. Cooley was pretty sure it was my appendix but wanted to run STAT UA, blood work, and CT. He wanted to make sure I wasn't pregnant (Dear God please don't let me be!), it wasn't a UTI, and the CT should show that it was or was not my appendix. So at 1500 H CST I went downstairs and checked in.

I was quickly pulled back to give my UA and have blood drawn and then the long wait began. Around 1520 H CST, I was given the NASTIEST drink I've ever had in my life. It was the barrium oral contrast in the Berry Berry flavor: yum! NOT! About an hour later and severely doubled over in pain, I was pulled back for the CT. I checked back in with Dr. Cooley and Ben met me. Not 15 minutes later, Dr. Cooley and Dr. Taylor, my surgeon, came in the room: 'Great news! CT is normal!"

I stared at both of them and exlaimed: "That's great! So why am I in so much pain?!" We all laughed.

Dr. Taylor proceeded to examine me. The second I got up to walk, Dr. Taylor says, "Uh oh! She's got the shuffle." He then had me sit up on the bed and examined my pelvic area. After examination, he was pretty sure it was my appendix, however he wanted an ultrasound done to ensure it wasn't my ovaries due to the (-) CT. Unfortunately, by this point it was 1645 H CST and they couldn't do the US at the clinic. 

I was given orders to be admitted to OLOL Hospital, put in a room, given pain meds, and have a STAT US. I was hoping this would mean the process would be quick and we would know shortly what was going on. Unfortunately, it did not.

We arrived at main admissions around 1700 H CST, where we waited for at least 45 minutes before finally being transported to my room. Once I was in the room, I had the pleasant experince of being stuck 3 out of 4 times before my IV took. I was then given some pain meds and told I should be taken for the US shortly. Yet, STAT did not mean in the hospital, what my nurse, myself, Ben, or Dr. Taylor thought it would. My nurse continually called to find out what was going on. It wasn't until around 2130 H CST I was told I would need to be catheterized. 

That took a total of maybe 2 minutes, which we thought then I would be ready to go and be taken shortly. Again, it did not. I waited with that piece of plastic shoved up me for another hour. Then when I was finally taken for the US, I was prodded all over my abdominal area just to find, she couldn't do it with the probe on my abdomen. This meant I didn't need to be catheterized. Woo! All that for nothing! She stuck the probe inside me and got the pics she needed. 

After waiting a total of 5 1/2 hours for this process, I was transported back to my room to wait for the results. I arrived in my room shortly before 2300 H, and within a matter of minutes, Dr. Taylor was in my room. 

"Good and bad news," he said. "Your ovaries look great but we still were not able to see your appendix with the US."

He then explained the process of what he would need to do so he could check everything internally. Surgery was inevitable, removal of the appendix was still up in the air.

Seconds after he left my room, my nurse came in to prep me for surgery. "Now this is what I call STAT!" I thought. Within minutes of her prepping me, the stretcher came in to take me. They moved me from my bed to the stretcher, Ben put his shoes on, and we were on our way. Once I arrived in the holding area for pre-op, they gave me some wonderful sleeping meds and the rest I don't remember.

I woke up in post-op holding hearing, "Mrs. Daigle. Mrs. Daigle its ok. We need you to wake up. Mrs. Daigle." I finally came to with a nurse who stayed by my bedside until I was back in my room. She showed me a picture they had taken of my innards and told me they had removed a hemangiomatous cyst off my ovary and removed my appendix.

I was later told that I didn't actually have surgery until 0130 H CST because a trauma case came in. However, I was out for all of it so I didn't even know I was waiting. Lucky me!

I was hospitalized until Friday night, where I was given the ok to go home because I had held down two meals (Breakfast didn't take because of the anesthesia).

So now I lay around my apartment taking some type of pain med and sleeping the hours away. I have been told no heavy lifting, no straining, and don't return to work for 7 days, which means no work this entire week. I have a feeling I'm going to become insane as boredom continues to set in. Thankfully, I am sleeping a lot so I don't have too much time to be bored :)

There are several things I am extremely thankful for through this time though:

1) God has given me an overwhelming amount of patience and consumed my worry with peace through all of this. It has been one huge opportunity to give all to HIm. I could have worried about surgery, what was wrong, how I would heal, etc. Yet, He has been gracious and bestowed His unfathomable peace on me.

2) My wonderful Husband who has been extremely supportive and cared for me beyond any expectations I have or did have. I continually grow to love him more daily and this situation has only deepened our relationship, I feel.

3) My family who, even if they couldn't be there, have continually checked on me to make sure I'm ok. My mom, especially, who came and stayed with me most of the day Friday while Ben had to work.

4) My friends who have made sure Ben was cared for and who came to visit me or have contacted me by phone if they couldn't be there.

I have seen just how much God has blessed and continues to bless me and Ben. I am glad that through this stiuation, I have chosen to rely on God's strength and not worry about what I cannot control. Hopefully, I will remember this time and use it as a reminder for those situations to come that may seem to cloud my view. Ever growing, always learning, I hope I apply this for the rest of my days.