Friday, October 2, 2015

In Everything Give Thanks....

After my long and whiny rant on Facebook (about being tire of being sick), I decided I needed some perspective….

I am thankful for my husband who is taking care of me—and I pray that he will find relief from the pain that grips his knee every day, and that a way will be made for him to have the surgery he needs.

I am thankful for my mother-in-law who keeps my family fed most nights and has been picking up even more of the slack while I’m down (I usually at least clean up!)—and I pray that she will be comforted when she grieves and that her aches and pains will be relieved.

I am thankful that I have a job and paid time off—and I will pray for those who are looking for work to find a job that will not only feed their family, but will provide them a sense of purpose.

I am thankful for my bed that has allowed me to be (mostly) comfortable during this time—and I pray for those who don’t know where they will put their heads tonight (or tomorrow or the next day….)

I am thankful that the pneumonia is gone and my son has a clean bill of health—and I pray for those who are sitting with their loved ones in the hospital wondering if they will ever get to come home—or knowing that they will not.

I am thankful for health insurance that provides for the medical needs of my family (except John’s surgery)—and I pray for those who do not have insurance, or who have such high costs it makes it impossible to use, that a way will be made that will provide for their family—whether and increase in pay or a reduction in costs.

I am thankful for my house that keeps me warm when I need and cool when I need it (and blankets for when my husband or teenage son want it colder than I want it!)—and I pray for those who huddle together to try to stay warm that their needs will be met.

I am thankful for a refrigerator, freezer, and pantry that are full of foods for my family—and I pray for those who wonder where their next meal will come from that someone will be Jesus’ hand extended to feed them, and their long term needs will be met.

I am thankful for clothes to wear (that are smaller than the clothes I wore 2 years ago!)—and I pray for those whose clothes are tattered and worn that God will provide resources to help them have their needs met.

I am thankful for friends who are willing to help me with their professional expertise—including nurses, EMTs, and HR representatives—and I pray that they will be blessed in their jobs and that they will know that they are the hands and feet of Jesus when they serve others.

I am thankful for my home church that is helping me find and fulfill my unique purpose in this life—I pray that those who are looking for their purpose will be drawn to the One who created them.

I am thankful that I live in a country where I have the freedom to worship the God who made me—and I pray for the families of those who took a stand for Christ and paid the ultimate price—whether in Oregon or in a foreign land, that they will rest in the peace of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Finally, (for now) I am thankful that my illness, while bothersome, is temporary—and I pray for my friends who are dealing with (often) invisible illness that they will find strength for the day, joy in the moment, and peace to sustain them.
                                                                                      Copyright Julie Donahue, 2015


Sunday, September 27, 2015

Can I Hear You Now?

The answer is: "No!"  But, that may change soon! In about 6 weeks, I may be able to hear a lot better out of one ear, and in another 3 months I might be able to go without my hearing aids!

On Thursday, my MIL and I went to Albuquerque to meet an ear surgeon. John stayed home with the sick boy. I have long suspected that I had a condition called, "otosclerosis". 

  1. a hereditary disorder causing progressive deafness due to overgrowth of bone in the inner ear.
My brother Stephen was diagnosed with it about 15 years ago after a concussion. (They were doing an MRI to determine if there was a traumatic brain injury).  He could have had surgery to correct it then, but he was a trumpet major in college and would not have been able to play for 9 months.

When I talked to a local ENT (ear, nose, throat doctor), he told me that I probably had otosclerosis based on Stephen's diagnosis, and the fact that both Daddy and Grandpa Long were completely deaf without assistance by age 40.  Dr. Hobbs told me he would refer to me to Albuquerque for the surgery when I was ready--it just was not cost-effective for him to invest in the equipment.

I thought the surgery was something to consider way down the road, when my hearing worsened.  I got my first hearing aid about 11 years ago, and my current ones about 7 years ago. My insurance doesn't cover hearing aids because I am over 19 years old.  This summer, I started researching the procedure: a stapedectomy. 

    stapedectomy is a surgical procedure of the middle ear performed to improve hearing. If the stapes footplate is fixed in position, rather than being normally mobile, then a conductive hearing loss results.  
As I read up on the procedure, I saw comments about this procedure being INSTEAD of hearing aids.   I decided to talk to my primary doctor about a referral.  He agreed that it would be a good move.

This is the picture Dr. Horn used to describe the procedure. The procedure will take about 90 minutes, and I will wake up with a band-aid over my ear.  The nerve that deals with taste buds will have to be moved out of the day, so there is a possibility that I may lose my sense of taste for a while.  I figure that could be a good thing. If chocolate doesn't taste good--maybe I won't want to eat it??!?!

Most of these surgeries are successful, but there is the 1% chance that I will become completely deaf in that ear.  That is why he will only operate on one ear at a time.  But most people notice immediate results.

I was very impressed with the doctor. He told me this is his "favorite" surgery to do.  "I did two today and one yesterday!".  His father, aunt, and grandmother all had the surgery.  In fact, it was this family history that lead him to becoming an ear surgeon.

My next step is to have an MRI (or is it a CT? I can't remember) to make sure that my ear is shaped the way it's supposed to be.  Then sometime in mid-November, I will go under the knife for the first time in my life. 

And hopefully when I wake up, and you say, "Can you hear me now?", I will answer with a resounding, "Yes! I can hear you know!"

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


My husband needs a total knee replacement.  Unfortunately, the insurance company has denied it due to his weight.  His weight has increased since he injured his knee about 18 months ago. The insurance company would be more than happy to pay for a gastric bypass.  John is not excited about that surgery for a couple of reasons. For one, he already has many of the GI problems that are common with post-surgery patients.

Also, if he chose to do the surgery, it would be at least 6 months before the procedure, and it would still take a year or so to lose the weight.

We have been looking at various options.  A couple of months ago, my friend Annie started talking about how Plexus made her feel. I just kind of watched for a while because I have lots of friends who participate in lots of different "health and wellness" companies.  I kept watching as Annie got rid of a messed up digestive system, migraines, anxiety, insomnia, and blood sugar problems.  She lost 20 pounds and 9 inches from her stomach in 3 months.

I kept reading Annie's updates--sometimes sharing them with John.  About a month ago, we decided to take the plunge.  If John doesn't lose a lot of this weight, we are afraid he won't be able to walk.

Honestly, at first we weren't sure anything was happening.  But slowly....things started to change.  I have lost 2 inches from both my waist and my hips.  TWO INCHES!! 

John had to take his belt in three notches. THREE NOTCHES!I  In one month!

Plexus is not meal replacement program. We take Plexus Slim which is a powder that we mix with water. We also take ProBio (probiotic), and BioCleanse which contains magnesium among other things. 

We joined as "ambassadors" to take advantage of wholesale pricing. We are excited to continue this journey. If you'd like to join us on the journey, check out my Plexus Page. 

There is a coupon for $5 off any order right now! Promo code: BTS5. (Until August 31st).



Friday, June 19, 2015


 I normally post about my physical journey to become half the woman I started. I am still working on that, although recent health issues have caused me to slow down a bit.  But as I'm learning in my Health and Wellness class, spiritual wellness is a key ingredient to achieving wellness. This week I've been experimenting with Bible journaling. I'm doing a study on the book of Proverbs and I'm journaling as go. I'm not the greatest artist (especially of people), but I'm not letting that stop me. I started with simple supplies: a $4 sketch book, a box of 16 crayons, a dozen colored pencils, a fine Sharpie, and a pencil with a good eraser.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015


This is totally off topic. Just some of my favorite pictures. In no specific order.

Licking the beater

Three brothers

Balloons lift off

Building at Home Depot

Are you following me?

Carlsbad Caverns

Concentrating Deeply

Cuddling with Mamaw

Caught some friends dancing

First day of 4th grade

Aidan and the icicle

My patriotic firecracker

My tiger

Pinewood derby

Beautiful sky

Snow at night

Snow on the rosebush

White Sands


Monday, June 1, 2015

Not according to plan

I had a plan. But sometimes life intervenes.  I am so ready to get back on board with fitness. I have taken some steps forward, but I've also had some delays.

I'm on the 3rd of 8 weeks of my class (Health and Wellness Coaching). Here were my goals:

  • Drink no Diet Coke 
  • Drink lots of water
  • Eat at 5 servings of fruit and veggies a day
  • Log at least 60,000 steps a week (average of 10,000 steps 5 days a week and 5000 steps 2 days a week).
  • Run at least 2 times a week
  • Check in on my blog at least 3 times a week
  • Lose 10 pounds
I have done well on the Diet Coke.  Except for one day when I broke down and bought one.  I only drank a few sips of it.  It's been almost 2 weeks, and for the most part I am not craving it. 

I've been drinking lots of water.  Although I was so busy at work last week that I kept forgetting to drink. I have been drinking water all day.

The fruits and veggies have been hit and miss. Some days I get them, others not so much.
The first week, I logged a lot of steps. (18,000 one day!!). Last week, I didn't do as well, but I got a few.

Running....welll...that's on the back burner for a while.  (More below).  A huge NSV regarding running: I have now run a mile in less than 15 minutes! (My average had been between 18 and 19 minutes). I can't keep up the pace for more than a mile, but that is one step closer to a Disney run!

Checking in on my blog 3 times a week.  Um....not happening.  Things have been very crazy at work (did I mention that!?) I normally have 3-5 kids "pending".  Lately I've had 30 kids "pending".  That means a lot of appointments and a lot of paperwork. (And a lot of overtime!)

When I got to the hospital today, my weight was 241.8 which is about a 6 or 7 pound loss.

Oh yeah. I told you I'd get back to that.  Last week I was in the emergency room with chest pains (again!).  I've never had chest pains while running or working out.  Anyway, test all looked good (x-ray, blood work, EKG), but my primary doctor sent me to the cardiologist. He wanted to take a look inside since we couldn't find a reason for the chest pains.  So this morning, I had an angiogram (aka heart catherization).  My heart looks good!  No blockage. No leaks. Very little plaque--nothing to be concerned about.  But I won't be able to run for at least a week.  (I'm hoping my doctor will clear me to run after that.)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Today I had a rough day at work. Frankly, it's been a rough few months. Change is never fun. About 3 pm, I wondered why in the world I decided to stop drinking Diet Coke right now?!?! I decided to get one. I used to drink 64 oz sodas (formerly regular Pepsi--then Diet Coke 2 years ago.) about a year ago I switched to 46 oz ones with lots of ice. Today, I just got a 32 ounce one. I got to my car and took a sip, and it just didn't taste good. I had a few sips over the next couple of (crazy) hours at work and took it home for dinner. Three hours later, it looked like this. 

Almost completely full. It was not refreshing. 

I told my husband yesterday thatI really  NEEDED a run tonight. He asked if I needed or wanted one. I assured him it was necessary. This afternoon I told  him I thought  I might run a half marathon tonight--due to all the stress.

I ended up running only 1 1/2 miles because the Mosquitos were eating up my sensory overload distressed baby girl. So we came home. But, not before I had a PR! I ran my first mile in 15:07!!! Down from almost 18 minute average!!

Now I'm having a bowl of frozen banana "ice cream from my YoNanas that I dug outbid the garage last night.