Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Happy Birthday, E2

It is someone's 4th birthday today.  My, how the years are flying by!  We love this tender, rough-and-ready, happy, and creative little boy.  Happy birthday, Z-Buddy!

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

A happy health update

It has been a long time, Gentle Reader, since I gave a health update.  If you are uninterested in details, the upshot is that God continues to be gracious, and we will try to cut down on my medication load.  Hurrah!  Details follow.

After a tough season of struggle on a couple levels, a new doctor was sought out.  The struggles involved not my eyes nor my birdshot-- they have remained very stable.  But the large amount of immune suppressants I have been on to achieve that are taking their toll.  Since October, I have had diverticulitis, a C-Diff infection, a respiratory virus, an eye infection, and a sinus/ear infection.  My current ophthalmologist is a good doc and good guy, but not familiar with my disease, and hesitant to remove me from any more of my medicines.  The time came when I was still stable (and as a matter of fact, there is no sign of birdshot remaining in my left eye, and my vision field test is normal!) to try to rid myself of the immune suppresants, if not permanently, for a time of respite for my body.  So, enter a birdshot chorioretinopathy specialist in Denver.  Perhaps we should have headed in that direction as soon as my specialist at UNM left, but here we are, and we made the move to see him last week. 

I have to tell you, Gentle Reader, that it was such a tremendous relief to speak to someone who knows more than I do about this disease, and who can confidently plot a course for me, who listened well, had a plan with options, and seems to have an extremely friendly and competent staff.  God is so good to us! I was lifted!  And here is our new plan:

  • We will try easing me off the immune suppressants.  I will stay on my current relatively low dose of mycophenylate every day (500 mg  twice a day) and extend my remicade infusions to every 10 weeks for three treatments, then every 12 weeks for three treatments, then stop if all is still stable.  That will be followed by me ending my mycophenylate.
  • I will see the Denver doc every six months for tests and exam, and my ABQ ophtho every 6 months in-between, so they will follow me at every 3 months during this process to watch for early signs of a flare.
  • If a flare occurs, we will discuss options for changing my infusion drug since I am really getting a lot of infections on remicade right now.  
So, I still walk in hope, am seeing well, and rejoice in God's provision!  Won't you join me in rejoicing?!

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Christmas Projects Update

Since some of my Gentle Readers have asked, here is a quick rundown of my Christmas sewing projects this year.

The ornaments made for nieces and grandchildren this year were felt hearts.  I loved this simple hand work!

The smallest grandchidren got elephants.

I completed some clothing for an itsy-bitsy girl to keep her warm and seasonably dressed, including a kimono and skirt with a matching set for her big sister.

My youngest niece received an apron.

And in the blanket category, I finished a flannel receiving blanket for a baby due this spring, a quilt for my sister, and a quilt for a busy boy.  All were fun to finish!

Friday, December 01, 2017

Christmas Letter 2017

Well, Gentle Reader, here I am continuing my December 1st tradition of posting a yearly update for family and friends near and far.  I am addressing Christmas cards, finishing up sewing projects, and rejoicing with Handel's Messiah in the background.  With each passing year, despite being overwhelmed with blessings,  the longing for and anticipation of heaven grows stronger, and I wait with expectant hope for the coming of my Savior. I pray you do, too.

We have enjoyed a year of rich blessings. Perhaps one of the richest is our beautiful grandchildren: Emma, 7; Ada, almost 6; Ezra, 3.75; Carys 3.5; and Everett, the happiest, smiliest baby ever, just 6 months old.  We have enjoyed visits here in NM, and in AZ, another Cousin's Camp with the three girls, and lots of letters, hangouts video chats, and telephone calls and texting in-between. 

Ben and Elsa are now in the Glendale area of Phoenix, where Ben continues to wow his students as a Latin teacher extraordinaire, and Elsa continues to nurture and teach their growing brood.  Ada has learned to read, and both Ada and Carys are full of memorized poems and hymns, and are a delight to spend time with.  And Everett charms everyone whom he encounters. They are terrific parents and terrific people.

Tim and Nikki continue in Tucson, where Tim carries on his electrical/computer engineering job as well as serving as a deacon at church, and nurses a fledgling love of hunting and hiking in the AZ wilderness.  Nikki cares for them all with love and skill.  Emma is starting piano lessons, and Ezra is as rambunctious as ever. And they have recently opened their home to foster care, and are nurturing a tiny soul whom they will love as their own for as long as God gives them.  They are my heroes.

Marilyn, Dave's mom, continues to be stable and well, as do Chris' parents, Jack and Shirley.  What a joy it is for us to watch our parents get to know and interact with their great-grandchildren.

And Dave and I continue to float along.  I am teaching one delightful online class of 8th/9th grade boys in English composition this year. Dave is in his 34th year at LANL, and big changes are afoot as he looks to retire next spring.  We have enjoyed leading a parenting class in Sunday school, and Dave continues to serve as an elder at our little church, where we are all like family.  We have passed 37.5 of married life together, remain best friends, and are both looking forward to the new adventures ahead.

And we pray that you, too, Gentle Reader, family, and friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, may await the return of our Lord, longing for His peace and justice to reign. Merry Christmas!

Mayst thou live to know and fear Him,Trust and love Him all thy days;Then go dwell forever near Him,See His face, and sing His praise!

~Isaac Watts, Cradle Hymn

Friday, November 03, 2017

Flashback Friday

I recently ran across these beauties from Christmas, 2014.  That doesn't sound too long ago, but look at these faces!