Tag Archives: God

Health, Healing and Hippos

Apologies for the length, but I wanted to share some of my medical story. I pray it will help someone today.

My first “migraines” were all abdominal and appeared at 14 along with “womanhood.” I missed weeks of school at a time and I couldn’t explain that the pain was more than “cramps.” (Enter 4-5 years of naproxen.)

My first “head” migraine hit in college and I was so sick a dear friend basically picked me up off the floor at the radio station and took me to the ER where they admitted me. I really felt like I was going to die. The pain was 10/10 and I was 🤮🤮🤮 non-freaking-stop. They did an MRI or CT scan and the entire right hemisphere of my brain was lit up like a Christmas tree. That I remember. There’s other stuff I don’t, but I was there for 2 days. They loaded me with fluids and pain meds and dad brought me home where I had the weirdest “morphine dreams” ever.

Example (embarrassingly admitted, but still makes me laugh…) Jamey Karr, Greg Wheeler, David Le Blanc, David Kilburn, Paige Burrough Ballard, Lani Clark, Brian Frank, Mike, Carla, Tommy, and a few others were all eating out at Blackstone’s. But it was like a scene out of Tombstone and the guys were all in western wear. Paige, Lani, Carla and I were having a discussion about men in chaps.😜Next thing I know they are riding off into the Panhandle sunset on pink hippos. That’s right. Pink hippos. And even now the more I think about it, the funnier it gets…

Phew… back to reality.

For almost a decade and after two kids, I was still migraine free. Those were pretty decent years (aside from female problems that I no longer contend with and IBS, which I do.) Then in 1998 🤯 official diagnosis. I’ve had migraines ever since, but they’ve morphed and changed over time.

I have been on and off preventive meds for years. I even had a couple of years that were just manageable headaches. (But as a ⚠️ WARNING ⚠️ —do NOT take Excedrine migraine heavily… that ended up with a very painful bowel bleed and a lengthy hospital stay because of it. Excessive NSAID use is no joke.)
Then in 2015 🤯 I was diagnosed with Occipital Neuralgia (which I’d never heard of, but have become nearly an expert) and Pudendal Neuralgia (I’m not going into this one.) Apparently my entire CNS is a mess. Fast forward til last week and a half…

I had 4 ER visits in May and June. The pain was intolerable and like many other chronic pain patients, I deal with some depression. I was literally down and out on the 4th visit. That last bill was a whopper, but the ER doc on call was actually a pain management doctor who gave me a couple of nerve blocks I hadn’t had before (and I’ve had more than a few.) My migraine dropped from a 7-8 to a 5 instantly and was at a 4 at discharge. It stayed a 4 and after a good nights’ sleep (something new) I woke up with no migraine or ON pain. I seriously thought I was out of my mind. I hadn’t had a true pain-free day in months (years???)

So… I’m now seeing a pain management specialist, finding a new neurologist here in town (not a fan of the one assigned) and throwing in alt “meds” that help – vitamins, essential oils, massage and going to go to a chiropractor when I get the all clear from the tests and nerve blocks that will be done.

I know weather triggers the ON and migraines – as does lack of sleep. I have certain foods I’ve totally cut from my diet as well. Those are an almost instant reaction. (One of the many reasons I don’t like to go out to eat is I like to know what’s in my food and the consequences are truly dire if I don’t stick to a pretty regimented diet.)

I wanted to share this because I don’t want anyone to give up on ANY problems they have – whether mental, physical or spiritual. There ARE answers out there and you may need a multi-disciplined approach. The doctor I saw last week was “feeling around” my head and neck. I had lost about 75% of lateral movement (didn’t notice because of constant pain) and my head and neck were really swollen. So… 4 new meds (a couple are just short term anti-inflammatory etc) and my dear hubby could actually see some curve in my neck again.

There are many options out there, but research, the right doctor and patience are huge.

I’m broken, but not shattered, and while it sounds hokey to some, I really feel like God is helping to mend the cracks and imperfections in this mortal shell. There have been many days I’ve asked myself if this whole thing is actually a test from God (think modern day Job.) I don’t know. But what I do know is in casting the burden to Him and sharing a bit of my story I hope I might just help someone else. I feel for the first time in years that I’m in a path to victory and to God alone will go the glory for bringing the people into my life that even just by being a friend is healing to me. Thank you for being there. Pink hippos…

Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’…

Shaking the Unshakable

There is a deep trembling in my soul as I see the world around me descend into madness.

I, sometimes am unsuccessful, but usually make the attempt to study the Word of God daily. I’m not talking about 10 minutes and a quick prayer of gratitude, but hours spent listening to and watching sermons given by some true women of faith and kingdom men.

And I’m not belittling 10 minutes. It’s exactly how I started drawing closer to my Abba and honestly, sometimes all I have is ten minutes. But if I purposefully give The Almighty Father ten minutes, He multiplies it in my life exponentially.

Not so long ago, I asked God to burn away the chaff in my life. I knew then and know now I need(ed) it done, but I knew not the ramifications of what I thought would be a simple request.

Chaff refers to useless things, grain husks and fine-cut straw, or light-hearted spoken exchanges. Trash that you do not want is an example of chaff. Wheat grains found after threshing is an example of chaff.

Many times chaff is carried off by the wind. But I specifically asked my Lord, not for a wind-winnowing, but a conflagration. Okay, I asked Him to “burn away the chaff.” It’s turned into a conflagration.

I feel the war for my soul deep in the marrow of my bones. This point was brought home today while listening to a sermon by Dr. Tony Evans: the Jesus Challenge / A Challenge to Greater Convictions.

In Revelation Chapter 2, Jesus speaks to the church at Pergamum. They were commended for keeping the faith, but were criticized for their lack of conviction and compromise. Ouch! How many times have I acted much like the members of this church? I know it’s too many to count.

In a world of ever-growing hostility toward those who follow Jesus Christ, I’ve got to really take a look at my heart, my mind and overall character and commit to an uncompromising faith in the Lord.

The war over my soul this past week has brought me to tears, raised my anxiety to new heights and left me utterly exhausted, yet I’m not defeated. Instead of the dark one pulling me down, he’s pushed me closer to God. As a result, I feel the onslaught of the arrows aimed by the great deceiver all the more. I also feel the shield of faith absorb the impacts of the evil one.

Beth Moore has a brilliant 4 part teaching called “Unshakable.” I believe these two teachings came to me at the right time and for the right reason. Sometimes we need to be shaken from our false assumptions, thoughts and convictions; we need the chaff burned away to take part in God’s finest blessings.

I have a long way to go, but I pray to become more Christ-like daily. The closer I am to God, the less the petty things of this world bother me. Everything I have ever wanted and ever needed is found in God alone, through His son, Jesus, and the Spirit who gives wings to my prayers and speaks to the Father for me when I have not the words.

May the peace of the Lord bless you all.

Much love, Celeste

If I Cry… Just Lend a Shoulder & Some Tissue

“Oft hope is born when all is forlorn.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, “The Return of the King” 

Well, it has been a while since I have written. Congested into the past six months has been a turbulence and turmoil I had not quite anticipated. Had there been a glimmer of the mayhem to come, I might have been better suited to deal with the pandemonium. Alas, I never caught a glimpse of it. Thus, the delay in writing.  My most humble apologies. 

Toward the end of December I spoke of the pending move. Yoda was transferred to the Metroplex and so it began. I could go into all the gory details, but seriously, there isn’t enough time and carpal tunnel would kick in long before I’m done. But here’s the gist: 

We sold the house, which wasn’t even on the market, in about a month open to close. The buyer’s lender insisted the close date be moved up two weeks. Because of the freakin’ weather, we were having the outside painted and the little house reroofed almost simultaneously. The paint wasn’t even dry on the final inspection. And that doesn’t even include the other little repairs that were made during that time. 

What Yoda didn’t bring to DFW was thrown into storage during the sale of the house. The remainder of the items was thrown in literally at 8:51pm the day before we closed on the house. The storage unit locked down at 9:00pm. I have a feeling I’ll never figure out all the things that were thrown out, given to charity or are tossed in boxes here and there. (And as a side note – paying rent on storage just irks me. I want a house again. Obviously I’m feeling a bit materialistic. Maybe I need to get over that.) 

So the kids moved into an apartment – the lease was signed a few days before closing on the house. Begging, borrowing and stealing came to mind when it came to the pet deposits as two of the dogs are there and one is in the Metro.  Seriously… why are pet deposits so blooming high? 

Meanwhile my sister-in-law/sister of my heart entered the hospital over 350 miles from her home because she had to undergo a more rigid cancer treatment – diagnosed in November with leukemia.  My mom-in-law for the most part moved with her to Dallas and moved into her hospital room and helped her so much as my SIL was so weak and miserable. I mean nursing staff can only do so much, eh? This started mid-March. 

Birthdays and holidays came and went and I still hadn’t heard back from the job I applied for.  You heard that right. I applied for one. It’s a specialized field and the hiring process is incredibly long. So long that I didn’t go down for an interview etc for a while. However, after all this, that and the other they must have thought I could do the job because I started the second week in June. Normally, this is cause to celebrate; however, I LOVED my old job. I had planned to retire from it. This obviously didn’t happen. So while I’m mourning my old job, I move down on Sunday and start work three days later Wednesday 6-11-14. 

Obviously God had his reasons for the timing of the madness.

My Yoda, dearest Yoda… He was a half-match for a bone marrow transplant. In the entire registry, he and his brother were the only ones. The transplant took place just days before he helped me move.  The process made him feel “blah” to say the least. But he has the biggest heart and I’m richly blessed. 

But my SIL didn’t improve much after the transplant. Apparently you have to bide your time and wait for the cells to kick in. Meanwhile, my MIL still stayed with her and cared for her. She only left the hospital for maybe a total of 2-3 weeks between mid March and June. Wow. She’s such an amazing woman. 

Saturday the 14th we went to see her in the hospital after going to church. Darling SIL didn’t look so hot. I mean, sporting a hospital gown theoretically could be a sexy look. On cancer patients, not so much. However, her bald head was beautiful and her smile still so sweet. But you could tell something wasn’t quite right. She was rather “out of it” and slept most of the time we were there. 

The long story short is the excrement hit the proverbial fan. I don’t remember how many calls and text messages flew back and forth over the next week, but too many to count. There were prayers lifted for my SIL all around the world. But she lost her fight to that ugly disease called cancer on Monday, June 23rd. Now the texts and calls fly because of funeral arrangements and all I can think about is that I just want to pick up the phone and hear her voice. I want to get her advice on some things and I can’t do that. I feel bloody selfish. I feel bloody miserable.  

Tomorrow I leave for “home” again – a quick trip. My new supervisor allowed me the day off if I work next Friday (which I was supposed to have off), but I’m not allowed to use vacation days, sick leave etc for the first six months of employment. And a SIL doesn’t apparently qualify for any kind of bereavement leave. I don’t know that I understand, but there’s no arguing the point.

I feel like a stranger in a strange land. I am in a pretty dark place right now and I have a feeling it’s going to be a bit before I’m feeling “normal” again – whatever that is.  I believe I will feel better after my SIL is laid to rest and we all gather to celebrate her life.  For now, all I can do is rely on my Heavenly Father and his Son, Jesus Christ, to carry me when I’m weak and lift my heart from the darkness to the light. 

May this letter from my new home find you in a better place than I am emotionally at this time. Always…. C