June 28, 2006
Mostly I'm working to add other links, and have played around with some colors. It's fun to see the charts of all of the available colors! Soooo many.
The other Cleaning Up that's going on is in the house. My In-Laws will be here on Monday for a week. I'm looking forward to it! I know, I know, you're supposed to dread having your MIL in your home, picking out all of the problems that you don't notice on a daily basis. I look forward to having them around. :o) ((Yes, I realize that my wife and sister-in-law read this!))
It sounds like we will have a week of being tourists, and shoppers, and loungers. I'm a fan of all of those things! We'll head up to the Baltimore Aquarium one day, and may even do some Smithsonian stuff another day.
So - posting could go one way or the other - I'll need to blog to share good news, or I will have no time to blog, so I will not be up for a week or so. I'll probably ge another one in before they come, but may spend more time playing with formatting instead. :o)
June 24, 2006
My wife and I share a birthday on December 16th, though several years apart. Every day when I actually catch it, I will send an email or text message at 12:16 to her saying something along the lines of "It's Birthday Time!!"
I think that it's partly because I like to find little celebrations every day. I used to send flowers on Tuesdays with a note that just said, "Happy Tuesday!" I'm the eternal optimist, I guess, but that's a good thing, right!??
The other one that I notice most often is 7:11 - Slurpee Time. I don't often have a slurpee, but it's fun to think I could have it twice a day with purpose!
The 7:11/Slurpee thing is also something I just do with a friend's birthday. Her birthday is July 11th, so I refer to it as the slurpee birthday! (What a great birthday, because they actually GIVE AWAY slurpees at 7-11!!)
There are others, but they are even more silly. I'm positive it's compulsion, but if it's positive it's okay I think. That's what I tell myself.....
June 20, 2006
What I CAN do, though, is watch the general sessions online! I would even be okay with just streaming audio, because I am replacing my regular radio listening with the GA proceedings. I didn't even know what I was watching one day, and it turned out to be the pre-speeches for the moderator elections!
I'm not a fan of the folks that just want to go to a microphone to say things like "we need coffee" or "where is the Bible in the LES system." I know that there is a reason for the open mic time, and that the purpose is things like coffee and technology, but it just seems very out of place. Those are things that could be dealt with in other ways and they come off as complaints.
Right now I'm listening to the debate about the Executive Director of the General Assembly Council. (Elder Valentine from Fourth Pres in Chicago was elected very easily.)
It's also very cool to me that the Advisory Delegates get to vote prior, with no actual power on the outcome, get to cast their votes in advance of the others and that their results are displayed. It's a neat thing from my youth ministry background to see that there is an importance put on their opinions, no matter what the issue is.
If you want to view the things going on in Birmingham, this is the direct link:
June 16, 2006
(A quicker synopsis is - got sick, doctor #2 diagnosed, and referred me to Dr K)
Upon diagnosis by Dr Lee, he immediately prescribed a diuretic medicine, to alleviate the massive amount of water that my body had been collecting in my legs, face and hands. The diuretic made me need to … umm… pee a LOT more than any normal person should during a day. At the place I worked, it was really inconvenient, too!
My first impression when entering Dr. David Kessler's office (I only use his real name once, and only really use it because he is no longer practicing.) was how home-like feeling it was. Two older women at the desk were the nicest doctors’ office employees I had ever met! Didn't have a checkbook to pay my co-pay, no big deal, just mailed it when I got home. In looking around the office, it was obvious that Dr K was a WWII veteran. Pictures all over the office of aircraft or medical units during war time. Several signed by government big-wigs.
I found out later that he was a pilot, but not able to fly the F-16's in the pictures. :o) He was pushing retirement age, which he confirmed at my second visit when he told me that he was hiring on a partner to take over the practice when it was time for him to move on.
So - the Dr K era began. He explained to me that is very strange for someone of my age (22 at the time) to get the nephritis that was be presenting itself. At first glance (severe edema), urine sample and one blood draw, the diagnosis was acute adolescent nephritis. The next test that I got to do was a 24 hour urine sample. NOT fun. For starters, it’s extremely embarrassing. I learned that I needed to take the day off of work if I was going to be doing a sample of this nature. The good news is that I only need to do this once or twice a year.
When the sample results came back, we then proceeded with the process of having a kidney biopsy done. I don't recommend this to anyone. A kidney biopsy is so invasive that most nephrologists don't even do it, they refere to specialists to do it. I did so poorly at it, that I had to go three seperate times:
My first biopsy was done "traditionally." You have to stay awake during the process, so that you can tell them what you're feeling, and to minimize any damage to the kidney. I was laid down into an MRI machine, where they used imaging to locate my kidney. I then had to hold my breath and then inserted a 9 inch needle type instrument into my back. They had apparently not used enough anestesia, becuase I felt it very painfully. They did this three times, and sent off the biopsy to the Mayo Clinic. Not enough of a good sample, I would have to have another one.
My second biopsy was a bit more progressive, an ultrasound. They lubed up my back and used imaging again to locate my kidney. At this point all I could think about was the pain that the other process brought. I freaked out again, and almost passed out. The doctor stopped the procedure and sent what he could get to the Mayo Clinic. Again, not enough of a sample to make a good diagnosis.
My third biopsy was done by putting me completely under with general anesthesia and make a cut in the side of my stomach. When this method is used, they can physically stop motion of your kidney to do a biopsy. The major downside, though, is that it really is major surgery. I had an incision of about 9 inches, which is now a pretty cool scar with staple marks across the whole thing! Chicks dig scars, but not this one!
With the final sample, they were able to diagnose me with FSGS, focal segmental glomerulonephritis. HERE is what Nephcure has to say about it.
I was put onto prednisone, a steroid. This is the first step in almost every nephrotic treatment. This post is already too long, so I will pick up at this point again when I am ready to venture farther. I am finding it theraputic to write about this experience, and I pray that someone just finding out that they have this disease is able to find some comfort in knowing that other people have gone through the same issues.
June 14, 2006
Update: I have found a good site for recipes. I have not tried any of them yet, but most sound GREAT! Here it is: http://cookingadventure.blogspot.com/
Another Update: I have begun to post recipes that my family has discovered recently. They are available over at http://recipes.mdmonroes.com.
I'm a former Youth Director, and will probably volunteer with you again sometime. I left my last position (paid, though the money went directly back to the youth program) because of my move last summer to Maryland. I don't know that I would take a part-time paid position again, because I don't take "part-time" to heart very well. Needless to say, it was really hard for me to leave.
I had volunteered at my previous church from the day I graduated until the day that I left. It started out as a way to get me away from the Senior Highs to let them develop their leadership skills. I hated the thought at the time, but am very grateful to the Educator who was at our church at the time. I actually thank her for it about every three months when I bump into her. Without her nudge, I would have been one of those famous 18-30 year olds who leave the church!
So, now on to the title of my post - last Sunday we had a congregational pot luck lunch to sit down and hear from a consultant who was hired to help our church discern how to use our newly found mortgage money. It always amuses me that as soon as a church has a mortgage paid off, it's time to go back into debt with a new building or something of the like.
So, the congregation was given a survey on two Sundays, and via email for us slackers who weren't in church those weeks. 75+ responses is a great number from a church our size. In identifying our priorities of ministry, four things came out on top:
Number four on the list with 8 votes was "Youth." We then looked at priorities for 10-20 years out. Same four, with 10 votes for "Youth."
The question presented to those in attendance was "are these the values that you can all agree on?" Split into groups of 4-5 people and talked for a few minutes, then presented to the room. Each and every group identified Youth and Young Adults as needing to be placed into a priority and value for ministry.
Each year the church hires a Seminarian on a one year basis, and part of their job description is Youth Ministry. I have learned from experience that I don't want to step on toes, but I think it's time that I got back into it. I think I have to learn more about their specific program and see if my volunteering would even be helpful, or if I should find another part of the Church that I can be helpful in.
But, I have been thinking about approaching the Pastor about getting back into Youth Ministry for several weeks now, as the school year is ending and I'm thinking back to summers past. Now is the time for planning next year, mission trips, and a day or two of just plain fun at a theme park. It's the time for reflection on the lives of seniors, and looking forward to the almost-middle schoolers as they arrive. Good times. Great times!
So, I have to figure out a way to talk with the pastor about getting involved while there is still a lot of passion swirling around it. Anny told me that she wants to be more involved in this ministry, if I go through with it, because most of them will not be her students like at my last church.
We'll see. I'm praying about it for a few more days before I bring it up at church.
June 12, 2006
Party was slated to start at 1:00. I took Friday off to get some last minute, big-ticket stuff done in rearrangement, and got more done that intended. No complaints from Anny on that! I even took an hour out to go with my cousing to the driving range. (That's good times, and I hope do do it once or twice this week too. I'm headed to play my first actual game on the 25th.)
So by 11:00 on Saturday, everything was quiet. Eerily quiet. All of the food was prepared or in the crock pot. The house was the cleanest that I have ever seen it. The cake was in hand. We were so ready that at 11:30 I sat down and played a 30 minute video game!
Once the party started good times continued. Several children, who I was not expecting, showed up with their parents. They brought friends too. I would have had something set up for kids if they were expected. Funniest thing about it - we asked Cousin who the kids were, and he didn't know two of the four! They ended up playing air hockey and played in the yard for a good part of the afternoon.
We had about 30 people at the house. Lots of food, soda, and cake to go around. Rusty (my dog, for those new to my blog) had quite a field day! He got half of a piece of cake when one aunt was not paying attention to her food and left it on the floor!
After most of the guests had left for home my friends Bryan and Charlene came over with their 18 month old son who played shy for a few minutes, then took off like a holy terror around the house! Upstairs and down. Chasing balloons and the dog. Playing with light and fan switches. It was GREAT!
After everyone was gone, Anny and I both crashed pretty hard. I got a second, short-lived wind at about 8:00 when the hockey game started, but it was over by the middle of the second period. Sunday was going to be a long day at church, and I wanted to be as rested as possible, and I'm glad I was.
But, then, that's my next post.
June 07, 2006
My real problem in planning is, and always has been, that I don't just have one "To Do List." I tend to make list after list, because I don't like the clutter of things that are done with things that need to be done. I have the same problem in the office, too many lists to work with. I am working on streamlining that stuff, but it's so hard.
I think I will write a retrospective to-do-list after the party to take a look at all of the changes that have happened at the house. Painting, patio-power-washing, deep cleaning of the house. Sometimes I just need to look back and see in one place all that has happened.
If I get around to putting it all on to paper, I'll probably send it along to the To-Do-List-Blog who is collecting lists to put a book together. I think it's a neat idea, and it's one of the sites I look at every day to see what other people are doing.
Post on my blog was on my list for today, so I'll check that off now.
June 01, 2006
So - I have been fairly anonymous in the blogging world for a while, only posting things from time to time, only commenting on sites of people that I know in the real world. I have just gotten word that my address is going to be published in the Presbytery's Monthly. (As implied, it's our Presbytery's monthly e-newsletter!)
So I say:
Welcome! Welcome to all you NCPers. I do not blog about things work related, so I hope you're not here looking for an inside scoop or juicy rumor! I blog about things going on with my health, my family, and just whatever is going on at the time.
Other people blog for different reasons. Some are political. Some are literally replacements for a journal. Some people use their blogs for others to use for devotions. Seek them out, and read about other people perspectives in the world!
(Disclaimer, as needed: Anything posted on this blog does not reflect the official stances of either the Presbyterian Church (USA), National Capital Presbytery, or the staff of NCP.)