Saturday, December 20, 2008

Post Surgery

The surgery was difficult, but Dr. Tarbox said that he was conservatively optimistic that Dee would recover with full use of his shoulder. The surgery took longer than expected because they weren't able to do it arthoscopically, and it was so bad that his tendon had retracted up under his neck, forcing the doctor to have to fish it out, traumatizing his muscles in the meantime. God be praised for nerve blocks. Dee didn't feel any pain until about noon the day after surgery.

Thursday morning, however, he decided to do his exercises and asked me to unhook him from all his contraptions (he's immobolized and wears a cooling system over his wound) while I was getting ready for work. As soon as I did and had gotten to the bathroom to dry my hair, he became overwhelmed by the pain and started yelling for me, but I couldn't hear over the hair dryer. By the time I finally did hear him, he had moved to the recliner and was dripping in sweat and not white complected but yellow. He said he was going to throw up and wanted me to put his immobolizer back on. This task can not be done while he's sitting in the recliner, but he couldn't stand up, so we were at an impasse. I went to go get him something to throw up in, but he then said he was going to pass out. Iran to the bathroom to wet a washcloth for him, and when I returned, his eyes rolled up into his head, he started breathing shallow and hard breaths, and he was totally unresponsive to me. I started screaming, "Dee! Dee! Breathe!" over and over, but he just worsened. Finally after nearly a minute of this, he went limp and lay there like a dead man. About ten seconds later, he opened his eyes to find me standing over top of him screaming at him to wake up, and he says in all innocence, "Why? What's wrong?"

Boy, was it hard to go to work after that. I called the surgery center who told me that was not a normal response and to take him to the emergency room, but before hanging up, the nurse decided to try to contact the doctor herself and put me on hold. After speaking with Tarbox, she changed her advice and said that it was a more common reaction than she had thought. When someone is in such intense pain, their body goes into a vagul (sp?) response that causes your blood pressure to drastically drop and your body simply goes into shut-down mode to compensate for what's happening. I seriously thought he was having an aneurysm or some other terrible thing and that I was helplessly watching him die. I was so shaken up that I could barely function at school. I took four nerve pills (not all at once), but they didn't seem to faze me. I worried about him all day.

But, all is good now. His pain is waning and he's able to move around pretty well. So, that's all for now. Merry Christmas to everyone.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

More Surgery for the Mosers

Well, it's not enough that both my children are familiar with Dr. Tarbox. Now my husband has to go under his knife. Dee tore his rotator cuff and will be having surgery Tuesday, Dec. 16, in Columbia. We haven't decided whether we're going up tomorrow or Monday because of the ice storm. He has presurgery work to do on Monday, so we were already planning to spend the night Monday, but we don't want to be driving up there on ice, so we may go up Sunday. Say some prayers for us. We are in serious need of such. He'll be out of complete commission for six weeks and will not be back to normal for at least six months. I guess I'll find out how much I depend on him for stuff, won't I?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I don't think I ever really knew God, all those years when I thought I was close to Him, when I thought I was a good strong Christian. I believed in Him because it's how I was taught to think. I never ever questioned His existence. I had been completely indoctrinated in our faith. I knew the answers to others' questions. I knew exactly where to find each verse to back up my beliefs. Most of them I had memorized. I could argue the finer points with Christians older than I. I used to think at any minute those who didn't believe would be struck down by God for their blasphemy. Johnathan Edwards would have been proud of me.

Yet, I had only believed because I was taught to believe. I had never analyzed my belief, never even examined it much less cross examined it. It has been a painful three years since I first started having doubts about my faith. When you start to doubt something that has been your foundation your whole life, it's like the whole world has turned to mush. You start to question every paradigm, every thought you've ever had.

I've come to the conclusion that life without faith isn't worth living. I will never receive answers to my questions. I will never KNOW that God exists. Yet, I know that my belief is essential to my being. Living without it is not living at all; it's merely existing without purpose.

If I ever questioned whether God truly loves me, I have concluded now that He must in order to put up with me for these many years. How many times I must have made him wince, or laugh, or cry, or turn His head in pain! Yet, He kept me around for some reason. He has been faithful to me even as I was not.

So, without the answers I was seeking, I look to God anyway. He knows the answers and I must be content to discover them one day, when it pleases Him, and not a moment sooner.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Update on Emily

Hey, well, Emily's asleep so I can get on the computer. We moved our old computer to the living room and hooked it up to the Internet, so I haven't been able to get online very easily. She's a computer junkie.

Her surgery (Thursday, July 24) went very well. The doctor had to remove 30 to 40% of her lateral meniscus as well as repair the ACL. Friday was her first physical therapy day (just one day after her surgery). Two therapists were working together on her and they were both just amazed at her. First they had her bend her knee to measure how far she could bend it. She bent it 68 degrees. Her good knee bent to 115%, so she was already over half there. Then when they were helping her with her knee, they noticed that she was holding her leg pretty much on her own. Evidently, these two things are extremely remarkable for someone to do the day after surgery. They said most people aren't at that point at two weeks. Then Monday, she went back and she bent her knee 88 degrees and did leg lifts and rode the bicycle. The therapist gave her instructions and then went to help someone else. She said, "Use your left foot and your right will just be there. You won't be able to go all the way around." Well, you guessed it: she went all the way around.

At home, she's been jolly the last three days (after we hooked up her computer) and has hardly needed any pain medication. The first two days, she wasn't bad, she just groaned and moaned a lot. I'd ask if she wanted some medicine and she'd decline. Finally, she said, "Don't ask me, okay. If it's time just give it to me because I'm gonna say no every time because I don't want to take it." After that we got along a lot better. She's way different than I am. Oh, she even has a particular way I'm supposed to hand her her crutches. I never could figure it out, because it made no sense to me, so finally she explained it to me. Now, I don't have to see her disgusted face when I hand her her crutches.

One thing that will probably seem weird is that Dee helped her get into the car right after surgery and he botched it, according to Emily, and she won't let him touch her anymore. Instead, she called for Mom and continues to ask for me. Probably most people would not think it was a good thing to be the only one she'd let help her, but Dee and she have been so close ever since he started coaching her basketball team 4 1/2 years ago that I have felt like an outsider in their private world, so I'm welcoming this opportunity to be the star of her life. That's pretty pathetic, I know, but it's truth anyway. When she reached her hand out to me before her surgery, I had to fight hard to control the tears. She hasn't acted like she needed her mom for a long time.

Yesterday was really hard on Emily and me. It was the first day we tried the exercises at home. She cried. I cried. Yet, she was bound and determined that if it said it on the paper, she was going to do it. Then we tackled washing her hair. I got two dining room table chairs and one bar stool chair and lined them up. She sat down on the bar stool. I helped her lift her leg (she won't be able to do that on her own for a while yet), and she scooted back toward the tub, so her legs were higher than her head. Then I stood in the tub, held her head and poured water over it. It took about 30 minutes. Before I was done, my back felt like it needed therapy. Oh, yeah, and after that I cut buckets of corn off the cob and cooked it and froze it.

We go back to therapy today and tomorrow for this week and then probably at least three days next week. She sees the doctor again next Wed. I start back to work Monday the 11th. I sure hope I can survive work and taking care of Emily. I am already getting really fatigued and making stupid mistakes like catching my hand between the end table and the chair when I release it to let Emily go to the bathroom and forgetting to plug her tubes back in before I turn her machine on. If I get more loopy, I'm gonna hurt myself or someone else.

We'd also like to ask for prayer for Emily's friend Alicia, who has been going through an extremely hard time. About three weeks ago she started having severe stomach pains and rectal bleeding. She ended up in the hospital for over a week and finally having to receive a blood transfusion. They discovered she has E-Coli. Now she's taken a turn for the worse again. They took her back to the hospital in Springfield, but they couldn't help her because they had already blown all her veins during her previous stay. They sent her home with medicine. If you don't mind to remember them, I'd appreciate it. They also struggle financially (as do we) and are concerned about their medical bills.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


It's amazing to me how completely ignorant we humans are. Our own pain, our own perspective--those things we can easily see, yet we are entirely unaware of the pain of those around us. Totally wrapped up in ourselves, we can't see how we have carved injuries whose scars will never go away in the very people we claim to care about. I guess it's easier to blame others for our own shortcomings than to face the truth and discover the part we played in our own little dramas.

I wish some people would wake up and unwrap themselves. I think they'd see that they actually have it pretty good.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

My Baby's Senior Prom

It's April 19 and my baby boy is off to his senior prom. In less than a month, he'll be a high school graduate. How can this be? I still remember his cute little chubby face resting on my shoulder, the way his tiny fists would clench onto a tendril of my hair as he scrambled to get higher in my arms, how he used to stare at everything in the room as if he had to unravel the mystery before him, how he used to rub his eyes and slap his own cheeks to keep himself awake because he never wanted to miss a thing. Now, this little gift from Heaven is seated at the terminal gate, waiting for his flight to be announced, and I must prepare to wave to him as he boards his flight. Will the flight be smooth? Will there be layovers? Where will he land?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Well, well, well, it's been a while since I last posted. The last post was about two weeks ago. A lot has transpired since then. With each turn of our world circumstances change, don't they? How are we mere mortals to know which road to take when so many present themselves before us? I mean we aren't omniscient, so how are we to pick the correct path? What do we do when faced with a problem.

For months now, I've been faced with a terrible choice. I, as a teacher, have been forced to exercise myself from that position and take the part of a parent. That is very hard to do when the teacher in me has been such a strong part of my identity for such a long time.

Sometimes I wonder if being an English teacher makes it more difficult to be a human being. I know for those who don't teach English you may wonder what in the world I could mean. What I'm referring to is that we have at our disposal the words of all these brilliant writers to spur us on to action. We have Emerson telling us that "Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist." He goes on to tell us that good and bad are only labels and that we must follow our own hearts. His friend and colleague Henry David Thoreau tells us to "march to the beat of our own drummers." We have studied The Crucible and witnessed the power of slander and suggestion. We have also studied The Grapes of Wrath and seen how people take advantage of their fellow human beings in desperate circumstances. We have studied the horrors of WWII in books such as Hiroshima and Farewell to Manzanar. We have stood back and objectively examined the horrors of the damned human race as exposed by Mark Twain in his many novels. We have seen the demented and deformed in Flannery O'Connor, been a guest at William Faulkner's table as he exposed the downfall of the American South.

We English teachers know the depths of depravity to which man can sink. We know that all it takes for evil to prevail is for us to allow it, but we still find it difficult to speak out when we know it is right. Perhaps, I've witnessed too many fingers pointing and laying blame on others to be willing to do it myself. I am not sure. All I know is that regardless of my own faults, I think it is time that I speak out against a fellow teacher and say, "I'm so sorry, but I can no longer sit back and allow your mistakes to continue."

I feel so bad about having to speak out, but I feel I have no choice. Those of you who know what I am speaking of, please, know that I do not wish to point fingers. I know I, myself, have sinned immensely. I am speaking out now, only because I truly believe it is what I should do. What if no one ever tried to stop an injustice? You're right it would continue and most wouldn't even be aware of it.

Pray for me to have strength.