Friday, November 29, 2013

Holiday Tree Festival

  Every year, people decorate a tree and it is for sale at John S. Knight Center for the week of Thanksgiving.  People come and view all of the trees.  Each tree is a different theme.  This is a big fundraiser for Akron Children's Hospital.  Real Life went to walk around and look at the trees last Saturday  night, I went and had a lot of fun.  Afterwards, we ate supper at Spaghetti Warehouse.  Besides church, this is the first time I had hung out with the group in about two months.  Here are some pics of the trees that I took.

I think this is just a really cute Hawaiian themed one.  I liked this one a lot.

I liked this patriotic themed tree.

This was also kinda cool.  A tree in the shape of a snowman.

Here I am standing in front of a Pittsburgh Steelers themed tree. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Today's Doctors' Visits

      I took the day off from school for three different doctor/dentist visits that I had scheduled for today.
     The first one was at 10 am with my kidney doctor.  I got the blood and urine tests results that were done October 18 and 20th.  All of the levels have gone down.  My creantin level is still just slightly over 2, my calcium is now in the normal range.  I have been diagnosed with Kidney Sarcoid.  There has been damage done to my kidneys.  We do not know if the damage will reverse itself, or what.  If the steroids I am on, do its job, then hopefully, the damage won't be too bad.  If I do or do not go off of steroids in two months, then I have to let my kidney doctor know.  If I do go off of them, then I will have blood work done in the middle of February to see what my different levels are.  As of now, I am scheduled to see him again on February 26.  If I am able to have the blood work done, and my levels have not gone down some more, or they have gone up, then I will have to have a kidney biopsy to see what type of damage has been done to my kidneys.  I have not been drinking a lot of water lately, because of being so tired, that I get a polar pop in the morning, to give me a kick of caffeine.  I have had no energy in the past week.  I have only gained 4 pounds in the last 5 weeks.  That is pretty good, for being on steroids.  The side effects are not fun.

     My next appointment was with the dentist at 1 pm.  I was supposed to have molds made of my teeth so that I could have a night guard made.  I've been clutching and grinding my teeth at night.  My face has become very swollen in the past two weeks.  The lady who was going to do the molds, could barely get the top one into my mouth, but she did.  She put a bit of the plaster mixture on the top of my mouth, and I had a major gagging fit and started to throw it up.  We could not get the molds made today.  I will have to wait until the spring, when I am off of steroids and the swelling in my face has gone down.

     My last appointment was for 2 pm at the dermatologist.  I actually saw the physician's assistant.  I wanted to know if the rash that was on my legs was exczema  that had spread from where I get it around my mouth down to my legs.  The exzcema has spread.  I was given a prescription for topical steroids to put on my legs twice a day for two weeks.  Giant Eagle pharmacy did not have it in, so I have to go back tomorrow to get it.  I was taking to the PA about the weakness in my legs I have been experiencing over the past three weeks.  She told me to call my personal doctor.  I will be seeing her on Monday, December 2 at 8:40 am.  It can be very difficult to walk, go up a few steps, and even get into and out of my car, because I have no energy in my legs.

   I fell yesterday morning in my classroom, I was walking behind two of my students and just went down.  They were seated at the table, I had just started going around, stapling a 1/4 sheet of paper into their planners, when I fell.  I have a bruise on the left side of my left leg.  I think I bruised my right leg, because it hurts, and there isn't really a bruise that has popped out on my leg.  My right leg does hurt.  

Monday, November 25, 2013

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns

Yesterday, one of my dreams came true! I attended my very first NFL game!  It was my dream game, going to a Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers game.  I am a Pittsburgh Steelers fan!  My mom blames my sixth grade teacher for this.  He is a Steelers fan.  My dad won in some way a Browns/Steelers  package, with two tickets to the game, two tickets to the Football Hall of Fame, a tshirt, and a few other things in the bag.  I had a hard time finding someone, but got my cousin by marriage to go with me to the game.

  Got there early to see the pre-game festivities.  Here is a view of the stadium from my seat. 

I was able to see all of the action on the field from my seat.  Each team scored a field goal on their first possession.  Then they took turns punting the ball.  Kinda  boring!  After each possession, it seem to take a long time to continue the game, because of commercials for the tv.  Towards the end of the first half, the Browns quarterback, Jason Campbell gets hurt, and Weeden comes into the game for one play.  That seemed to give the Steelers the shot in the arm that they needed.  The Steelers scored a touchdown.  They scored twice before the end of the half. 
   A local high school from Berea played the half time show.  Third quarter, the Browns fumbled, and the Steelers scored.  Jason Campbell gets hurt again and is taken out of the game.  Weeden comes back into the game.  It is now mid-way through the third quarter, my feet are very cold.  I am very cold.  I did dress in layers.  The sun came out at various times, it snowed at times.  The temperature dropped while we were at the game.  We left the game.  The final score of the game was 27-11.  I would've love to stay for the whole game, I was just too cold!. 
  Here are some pics that I took during the game:

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Streams in the Desert: November 17

Listen to what the unjust judge says.  And will not God bring about justice for h is chosen ones, who cry out to him by day and night?  Will he keep putting them off? I till you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly.  (Luke 18:6-8)

      God's timing is not ours to command.  If we do not start the fire with the first strike f our match, we must try again.  God does hear our prayer, but He may not answer it at the precise time we have appointed in our own minds.  Instead, He will reveal Himself to our seeking hearts, though not necessarily when and where we may expect.  therefore we have a need for  preservance and steadfast determination in our life of power.
      In the old days of flint, steel, and brimstone matches, people had to strike the match again and again, perhaps even dozens of times, before they could get a spark to light their fire, and they were very thankful if they could get a spark to lift their fire, and they were very thankful they finally succeeded.  should we not exercise the same kind of perseverance and hope regarding heavenly things? When it comes to faith, we have more certainty of success than we could ever have had with flint and steel, for we have God's promises as a foundation.
      May we, therefore, never despair, God's time for mercy will come--in fact, it has already come, if our time for believing has arrived.  Ask in faith without wavering, but never cease to petition the King simply because He has delayed His reply.  Strike the match again and make the sparks fly.  Yet be sure to have your tinder ready, for you will get a fire before long.  Charles H. Spurgeon
       I do not believe there is such a thing in the history of God's eternal kingdom as  a right prayer, offered in the right spirit that remains forever unanswered.  Theodore L. Cuyler

Streams in the Desert: November 15

We were under great pressure. (2 Corinthians 1:8) that Christ's power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

     God allowed the crisis in Jacob's life at Peniel to totally surround him until he ultimately came to the point of making an earnest and humble appeal to God Himself.  That night, he wrestled with God and literally came to the place where he could take hold of Him as never before.  And through his narrow brush with danger Jacob's faith and knowledge of God was expanded, and his power to live a new and victorious life was born.
      The Lord had to force David, through the discipline of many long and painful years, to learn of the almighty power and faithfulness of his God.  through those difficult years, he also grew in his knowledge of faith and godliness, which were indispensable principles for his glorious career as the king of Israel.
      Nothing but the most dangerous circumstances in which Paul was constantly placed could ever have taught him, and thus the church through him, the full meaning of the great promise of God he learned to claim: "My graces is sufficient for you" (@ Cor. 12:9).  And nothing but the great trials and dangers we have experienced would ever have led some of us to  know Him as we do, to trust Him as we have, and to draw from Him the great measure of His grace so indispensable during our times of greatest need.
      Difficulties and obstacles are God's challenges to our faith.  When we are confronted with hindrances that block our path of service, we are to recognize them as vessels for faith and then to fill them with fullness and complete sufficiency of Jesus. As we move forward in faith, simply and fully trusting Him, we may be tested.  Sometimes we may have to wait and realize that "perseverance must finish its work" (James 1:4).  But ultimately we will surely find "the stone rolled away" (Luke 24:2) and the Lord Himself waiting to bestow a double blessing on us for our time of testing.  A. B. Simpson

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Allergic Reaction

I mention back in the spring about having issues in sleeping, which was due to stress.  I went to GNC and bought melatonin and velearan root to help me sleep.  They did, and I had no very little issues in sleeping over the summer.  I tried not to take these two sleep aids that much over the summer.  When school started at the end of August, all of a sudden, I started having issues sleeping again.  I have very little stress this year, and I have my joy back in teaching.  I love where I teach.  I love teaching my students and what I teach.  I am greatly enjoying my school year.  I've done the two sleep aids at various times this school year.  I got sick back in the middle of September, and kind of stopped taking them.  When you are on an antibiotic, you are very careful in what else you take.

I started taking steroids on October 23.  I get about 4-5 hours of sleep, then can't seem to go back to sleep.  I can probably count on both hands, how many times, I have gotten a good night's sleep since school has started.  I was out of the valerean root, so I bought a bottle at Giant Eagle last Saturday.  Nobody told me,  that sleep issues is a side effect of the steroids.  I took both sleep aids about 45-60 minutes before going to sleep over the next 4-6 nights. 

  I noticed how difficult it was to go up the short flight of stairs to the recess door to pick my kids, and the short flight of stairs to the entrance/dismissal doors we use.  I am not talking about becoming short of breath, I am talking about my muscles in my legs, it was taking effort.  Even at night to go upstairs to go to bed, it was an effort to use the stairs.  Thursday night, I noticed a rash on my right leg.  I had also noticed having cramps in my left leg, while moving around in my bed.  My muscles hurt in my right leg, there is a rash on the front of my right leg and part of the back of my left leg.  Both legs are covered in bruises. My legs also itch at times. I had an allergic reaction to the sleep aids. 

Yesterday, I called my lung doctor to get in and see him, due to the allergic reaction.  He was out of office and said to go to the emergency room.  I called my personal doctor, she was booked solid, but another doctor had an opening right after lunch. I took it.  He had blood drawn to check my platelets, and sent me to get an ultrasound of my right leg.  (I had one back in July).  He wanted to check for blood clots.  That came back normal, no blood clots.  No more sleep aids until I am done with the steroids and will have to adapt to not getting enough sleep.  I need sleep.

I got weighed at the doctor's office, and I haven't gained any weight since October 22.  That is good, since gaining weight is one of the side effects of taking steroids.  I just want to eat.  I have also felt like I have been in a brain fog.  It is like I feel totally out of it.  I felt this way back in September when I was sick.  I kinda felt like this last weekend when I was experiencing the sugar crash.  I am not sure what causes this brain fog.  Side effects of meds are never fun.  Because of this rash, I can not wear my compression stocking.  I do get tired of wearing the stocking, but it is something I will have to wear for the rest of my life. 

Saturday, November 02, 2013

What is Sarcoidosis?

  Sarcoidosis (sarcoid) is an autoimmune disease.  It can affect any part of one's body.  One can have flareups and then have it settle back down (remission).  But it can get worse and worse over time.  It is also a genetic disease.  I have sarcoid in my lungs (nodules with granulomas), in my lymph nodes with granulomas, and has been found on one spot on my skin.  I will found out the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, if it has started to affect my kidneys. 

  I believe that I have had this disease since I was a kid.  I have had a cough since I was a kid.  I got colds, upper respiratory infections, and sinus infections quite a bit.  Since I've had sinus surgery in January 2006, my sinus infections have not been as many. 

  I also believe that my brother had sarcoid.  Will be finding out in about a week, if my mom has sarcoid. 

   If you want to read up about sarcoid, go to and in the search window, type in sarcoid. 

Lesson Learned

  Back in the spring, I decided to severely cut back on my chocolate and candy intake.  I still kept my Mike & Ikes in my purse, for meetings and other times when I did a lot of yawning.   There have been times this fall, where I did not eat much because of being sick.  Last week, I started taking steroids for my sarcoid.  For  a week now, I've noticed how much energy I've had.  (Still having issues sleeping, though.)   I've also been wanting to just eat this past week, which has been due to the steroids. 

   Dad came home with some snack size Snickers and Reese Peanut Butter Cups, since they were on sale.  I ate too many last night after supper, and went into a major sugar crash.  I felt weird,  was in bed by 10:30.  I had that feeling for a few hours.  That has never happened before, and I will never do that again.