Friday, June 29, 2007

Handprints ~ Signs of Life

I have been in the middle of a huge emotional avalanche lately ~ I hear a song on the radio and waves of emotion swell in my heart. I have said it time and time again, music reaches me on a deep and profound level.

There is this song by Mark Harris that provokes tears every time I hear it. So you ask, why don't you change the station when it comes on the radio? The truth is, I can't, I love the message he sends. It puts my focus outward on my children and my nephew. It reminds me to teach children that no matter what, God give us faith and courage to face anything in the world.

Find Your Wings ~
Pray that God would fill your heart with dreams
And that faith gives you the courage
To dare to do great things
I'm here for you whatever this life brings
So let my love give you roots
And help you find your wings

May passion be the wind
That leads you through your days
And may conviction keep you strong
Guide you on your way
May there be many moments
That make your life so sweet
Oh, but more than memories

The hand print is from my youngest daughter ~ it's part of a Father's day gift. She gave it to me to hold on to for safe keeping until Father's Day. When I read the poem on the back ~ tears started streaming down my face. Life seems so fragile to me right now ~ with brain surgery on the horizon, all that I know could be gone in an instant ~ The thought of not being here to see my children grow up would be unbearable. So ~ as always ~ my children are teaching me to slow down a bit and see fingerprints on the windows as signs of life!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Under African Skies

"This is the story of how we begin to remember. This is the powerful pulsing of love in the vein. After the dream of falling and calling your name out. These are the roots of rhythm and the roots of rhythm remain." ~ Paul Simon

I get wallpapers weekly from
This picture of Kenya struck a chord somewhere at the cellular level in my veins. How could I possibly remember what a sunset looks like in Africa when I don't even have a passport!?! Can't explain it ~ I just have a feeling in my bones that someday I will make my way back there.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Hawk In A Parking Garage!

I had just gotten into my car that was parked on the third floor of the parking garage across from my office. The sky had turned to grey and I could hear thunder rumbling in the distance. The air felt heavy and there was a feeling of electricity in the air.

My hover craft was making it's way down the garage to the exit when I saw something very large in front of me. As I looked in amazement, there was a very large red tailed hawk standing it's ground with it newly killed supper gripped tightly in it's talons. We exchanged glances at one another. He was hell bent on getting out of that garage with it's supper in tow ~ he was facing his giant. He tried to take flight as I slowed down and drove slowly around him, but his kill kept coming out of his claws. I fought the urge to pull my car over and get out. I wanted to make sure that he got out of the garage without getting run over. I felt instantly protective of brother hawk.

I would like to think that we both learned something from one another today. I learned to expect the unexpected and I hope that he learned that he can stare down a car and have his dinner, too.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Just Around the Next Bend In The Road

Just as I was packing up to leave work this afternoon, I received word that I have an appointment scheduled with my fourth neurosurgeon on July 11th. I did some research on the surgeon and come to find out he was the surgeon involved in the Portco murder case. A 12 hour surgery saved Mrs. Portco's life. So ~ I am feeling relieved already that I will be in good hands.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Sunshine On My Shoulders Makes Me Happy

There is something amazing about the healing powers of the sun. This weekend, I stole a couple of hours from the day and planted myself in the backyard by the pool ~ book in hand ~ cool drink nearby ~ I couldn't want for anything else in the world at that moment in time.

Summertime always summons a huge vortex of nostalgia for me. The memories come swirling in so fast and furious that they almost take my breath away. Spending my childhood in Texas, summer was all about the sun and water ~ any form of water ~ whatever it was, you must get in it or fry your body to a crisp! I still am torn between my two favorite bodies of water: oceans and rivers.

Every summer we used to rent a beach house right at the water's edge on Bolivar Island. Wild horses couldn't drag me away from the thundering motion of the waves. We would also spend many hours floating down the refreshing Guadalupe River on big inner tubes. To this day, every time I catch a whiff of cypress trees, images of the river come with it.

So ~ despite how bleak things may seem for me sometimes, I am finding slices of life that transport me above all of the muck ~ giving me a moment of pure joy.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

I'd Rather Be Herding Cats

Coordinating with doctors and insurance companies is like herding cats! (make sure to click on the link and watch the short video ~ makes me laugh every time) Yesterday was a very frustrating day.

I called to get an update on my pending approval for my spinal surgeon and found out that there wasn't anything pending for me at all. SERIOUSLY!?! They had no record of the request from the PCP. So, after some tears and a moment to pull myself together, I called the PCP and relayed the latest information to them. They confirmed that they had sent the request in a week ago and told me that they would resubmit the request to the insurance company and follow up with them to make sure that they received it.

I would rather be herding cats!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A Different Point of View

The daily commute ~ we all have one ~ some travel only a couple of miles down the road ~ others drive clear across town. My commute route has been via the highways. Up until yesterday, I welcomed the 30 minute drive. It gave me time to clear my head for the day; however, since I had to deal with the nuances with driving through toll-ways, there was always a little bit of chaos involved.

Now, my perspective on the daily commute has changed from highway to a river road (looks similar to the picture). I put the windows down, breathe in the fresh summer air, hear the birds tweeting ~ you get the picture ~ it's nice and relaxing. What an unexpected gift.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Survived the Move!

We all survived the big move over the weekend. Everything went as smooth as possible. Most boxes are already unpacked and things have been put away ~ maybe not in their permanent place ~ but out of site. I have no idea where I got all of the energy I needed to get things done ~ I figure I will probably crash some time soon.

The house feels like a good fit ~ it almost feels like we are staying at a vacation house. I have always wanted a house that was big enough so that we could have lots of friends and family over ~ I want the kids to feel comfortable having their friends over to hang out ~ sleepovers ~ blizzard parties ~ pool parties ~ I think we have finally found the right place for all of these things to happen.

No new updates from the land of insurance. They are reviewing my request to have the tethered cord surgery locally ~ hey ~ is it just me or is this really silly ~ they are the ones who denied my request to have the surgery done at TCI ~ They suggested that I see a local neurosurgeon and have the procedure done here ~ and now they have to approve their own suggestion?!? Also ~ I haven't even seen a spinal surgeon yet ~ LOL!

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Tomorrow is the big mooooving day ~ I'll be off the screen for a couple of days as I wade through boxes! Still waiting on approval from the insurance company to officially authorize an appointment to my newest neurosurgeon. E. is keeping her fingers crossed that my doc will look like McDreamy! Have a great weekend ~

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Second Breakfasts and Third Opinions

Anyone who has seen the movie, Groundhog Day, knows what I am talking about ~ the same day keeps repeating itself over and over again! Now I am familiar with second opinions and second breakfasts

Pippin: "What about breakfast?"

Strider: "We've already had it."

Pippin: "We've had one, yes. What about second breakfast?" [Strider walks away.]

Merry: "Don't think he knows about second breakfast Pip."

Pippin: "What about elevenses? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper? He knows about them doesn't he?"

Merry: "I wouldn't count on it."


~ but a third opinion ~ a third neurosurgeon!?! Actually, this will be the FOURTH! I am quickly becoming the poster child for jumping through hoops for the insurance company.

It appears that I will soon get the very special privilege of meeting a neurosurgeon who specializes in tethered cord surgeries ~ can't wait ~ I am super excited! If there were a bright side to all of this, it would be easier to get the surgery done locally. So ~ here I am ~ doing my part ~ jumping through hoops ~ preparing my fields for rain ~ waiting with great expectation to see what miracles God will do next!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Really ~ I'm not drunk ~ my brain is just falling out of my head!

Feeling dizzy today ~ thought I would make you dizzy, too. Welcome to my world!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Just When I Thought I Knew Where l Was Going

Here we go again ~ just when I thought I knew what the game plan was ~ now I am off in another direction. Of course I wouldn't have it any other way! I find sarcasm very therapeutic ~ it's better that some other things I could do right now @#%$%^$%&...Anyhoo ~ today ~ the insurance company delivered the lovely news that they have denied my request to have TC surgery done at TCI. But wait, they have a solution ~ I could go to a local neurosurgeon and they could do the honors. Well, why didn't I think of that??? But wait, it gets better, they don't want me to see one of the two local reputable neurosurgeons that I've already seen ~ they want me to go to someone else!

Seriously ~ are they kidding??? One step forward, two steps back ~ sounds like a square dance I did back in elementary school! Does anyone else think that the insurance company is actually wasting money? OK ~ they want me to see someone else, I can do that. Explain my entire medical history again ~ sure ~ that shouldn't be a problem ~ My brain my actually fall onto the floor during the process ~ but sure ~ why not ~ this sounds like fun. I wonder if they will let me bring a camera into the appointment ~ because after all is said and done, I don't want to miss the look on the doctors face when they tell me ~ "Are you kidding me??? No way will I operate on you! You should see a Chiari specialist!"

Seriously ~ how long is all of this going to take. A couple of months to even get an appointment with another neurosurgeon ~ a couple more to schedule the surgery ~ all of this is making me feel more dizzy ~ ow ~ my head hurts even more. I have been working so hard to do everything by the book to get my surgery authorized and paid for ~ shouldn't they give me a prize or something? Seriously ~ I am not asking for them to authorize a 7 day cruise to the Bahamas ~ I am pleading, no begging, for spinal surgery ~ just authorize it already!!!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Bring on the Rain

"How can I praise you with all that I have been through? How could circumstances possibly change who I forever am in you!

You are much greater than the pain ~ bring my anything that brings you glory ~ this life will bring me pain ~ but if that what it takes to praise you ~ Jesus bring the rain."

Brilliant lyrics ~ like they were written for me in this time, this moment ~ solid words of encouragement. I am finishing up packing up the house for the move this week ~ all of our possessions reduced to piles of cardboard boxes. The walls are empty, plain ~ I go to get something and realize that it has already been neatly packed up. I am almost feeling prepared for the move ~ the calm before the storm ~ it's going to be a good move ~ but I am a little stressed out about the giant task before me. My brain tail does not take kindly to stress ~ it throws me into a sea of confusion and panic ~ I am learning how to quiet the chaos in my head ~ telling myself that it's all made up ~ I can do this ~ I am good at handling stress ~ everything will turn out OK.

I continue to have moments when I feel all hope is lost ~ how could my body be failing me more and more? I can hardly remember what it felt like to be strong and healthy. I attempted to go on a slow jog on Friday ~ my legs just wouldn't move at more than a turtles pace ~ I fear that the tethered cord is pulling me down, literally! Again, how can I hate something that is a part of me. If something is broke, fix it now, not in a month or two ~ not wait until the insurance company decides if it's ok or not to have the surgery done ~ NOW!

So ~ I press on ~ using the move as a huge distraction ~ bring on the rain ~

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

I Hear You ~

~ Sigh ~ About an hour after I posted my first blog today, TCI called me. I guess miracles still do happen today. Long story short, they were more than willing to schedule my TC surgery, but only after the insurance company's full approval has been granted. D0 fairy godmothers grant wishes to brain tails?

Anyway, they faxed over the doctor's notes from my visit. I was a little surprised to read that a sense of urgency was missing from the 10 pages of information. The insurance company has three days to make a decision to certify my surgery. I am sure that this is one of many stepping stones along my journey. So ~ again ~ I release this into God's hands, and I will assume my perch on the log and wait some more.

BTW ~ a friend of mine recently sent me a story about frogs and it has given a whole new meaning to the little green guys: (F) Forever (R) Rely (O) On (G) God

Just Wait ~ Are You Kidding ME?!?

We've all been there at some point in our lives ~ you are waiting with great expectation ~ staring at the phone ~ willing it to ring! Anytime this century would be just fine with me!

Please ~ don't leave be hanging here ~ I don't know how much longer I can hang on ~ the frog in the picture empathizes with me ~

I called TCI over a week ago ~ left my contact a message that I wanted to go ahead and schedule the tethered cord surgery. What's that? Can you hear the deafening silence on the other end of the phone ~ nothing ~ no acknowledgment phone call. I know that they are super busy, but right now, I could use a healthy dosage of validation. I feel as if I have gone on a rappelling excursion. I have leaned back ~ parallel to the ground ~ I am totally trusting the rope ~ I have taken that first, terrifying step off the ledge ~ and now they tell me to hang on a minute. SERIOUSLY?!!

The Bible mentions 'waiting' many times ~ here are a few verses:
Psalms 27:14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

Isaiah 40:31
But those who wait on the LORD will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.

And so ~ I wait for a call from TCI ~ and hope that after all of this time I have spent waiting ~ I will still be of good courage and have found new strength ~

Friday, June 1, 2007

Time Well Wasted

Just this week, I have come to the realization that I am in a state of massive withdrawal! SERIOUSLY! No ~ maybe I am in mourning ~ where have all of the familiar faces gone? McDreamy, Meredith, Bailey, George ~ Allison and Joe ~ Jack, Kate, Sawyer, Desmond, Hurley. Charlie ~ The Walker Clan ~ Men In Trees ~ Ugly Betty ~ Liz Lemon & Jack Donaghy ~ Claire, Hiro, the Patrelli brothers, Parkman ~ Pam, Jim, Dwight, Michael ~ Grissom & Sidle ~ SERIOUSLY!

I am awestruck by how much time I spend getting to know all of the characters in the shows I watch, but then again, all of this abuse of the DVR has been quite therapeutic for me. Since I found out that my Brain Tail has moved into my spinal column ~ it has occupied my every waking and sleeping thought. I don't enjoy being so in tuned with myself ~ so self absorbed in every physical symptom caused by said Brain Tail. Escapism has been my ticket away from myself, if just for a couple of hours ~ let's call it 'self medication'. It's a good coping mechanism so I don't drive myself completely coo coo! But what in the world am I going to do while my TV friends are on their summer vacations????

We are moving in 14 days ~ maybe I should use my new free time to throw some stuff in boxes ~ brilliant idea. But SERIOUSLY, I feel as if my TV friends are actually my friends. How sad it that?!? I tune in each week to see what kind of decisions they are going to make, how they are going to embarrass themselves, how will they resolve conflicts ~ good stuff ~ Maybe I will spend more time blogging this summer ~ anything to keep my mind off the waiting game with impending surgeries.

So ~ what do you think? Have I been wasting time or has it been time well wasted?