Search This Blog

Monday, November 28, 2016

The eye is improving :)

Well things are better. When he first saw the doctor on November 14, Steve began a regime of one drop of a steroid called Durezol every 2 hours. He saw the doctor 4 out of 5 days the first week and then 2 or 3 visits the second week. With improvement in his eye at the end of a few days his dose was dropped to one drop every 4 hours. Of course there is always an accompanying 2 drops of Combigan every day to reduce the increased eye pressure that was caused by the steroid drops. Last week his steroid dose was dropped to every 6 hours.

Today he saw the doctor again and was given the happy news that his offending left eye is looking as healthy as his right eye. He will continue the drop regime with a weaker steroid, Prednisolone drop every 6 hours. Just to be sure things are OK. Next week another doctor appointment and we hope his eye continues to be healthy with this weaker steroid. In the meantime the doctors will consult with the surgeon who performed the  cornea transplant to get her opinion on his progress and when she feels it would be safe for him to fly to Sydney.

So, prognosis is good but mission departure date is still undetermined.

In the meantime we had a nice relaxed Thanksgiving with our daughter and her family. We are enjoying our time in their home.

Steve keeps busy with various projects and I have been working pretty much every day on the project of sorting family photos, negatives and old family letters. I am almost on a first name basis with the Transparent Office Supply people as I keep ordering more and more archival sleeves. Today's order was for more negative sleeves which I hope will come soon as I hate to lose my momentum. I have filled well over 3 dozen two inch binders.

This has been a mammoth project which has morphed into something far larger than I ever could have imagined. There are negatives from my grandparents dating back to 1926. My mother's negatives begin in the 1940's. My mother's letters to her parents begin on the ship on which our family sailed as we left Denmark way back in 1952. So many great stories and nuggets of information that would otherwise be lost. There are old family photos that begin in the late 1800's. And as the years progressed the sheer volume of negatives and photos increased proportionately.  There are so many pictures and I love to see them. Such grand memories!!! And sometimes very emotionally exhausting.

It has been good to have a project as I am never happy without something going on. But all the same it is still strange to be living in limbo without any real direction or purpose. Our mission seems so far away and almost non-existant. We are "homeless" for all intents and purposes. Someone else is living in our house, our belongings are in storage and we are living out of suitcases. We are definitely being made to feel comfortable in our homeless state but it is surreal.

We are waiting to find out just what the Lord has in mind for us.

Monday, November 21, 2016

When a cornea transplant tries to reject...

What a difference a week makes. We should have been boarding an airplane to travel to Utah this morning. But we aren't. 

Last Monday Steve noticed that his eyesight was kind of milky so while I was in for a final tear test [for dry eye] he asked the doctor to check his eye. Well an hour later it was determined that his eye was not only inflamed but that his cornea transplant was threatening rejection. A regime of steroid drops to control the rejection and other drops to counter increased eye pressure caused by the steroid drops began. By Wednesday it was determined that he needed more care than could be accomplished in a few days. A call to the mission office medical folks and our mission was postponed until he gets medical clearance. 

Wow! It is so weird to be in limbo after working so hard to get ready to go. His eye is improving and was 50% better last Friday. We are hopeful he will have further improvement when he goes back in today. After his eye is back to normal the doctors would like to monitor him for a few weeks to make sure he is stable. And then they will give him medical clearance so we can again get a schedule to report to the Missionary Training Center in Provo and actually fly to Sydney. We are so grateful for good eye care professionals and their competent staff who care about us. His eye surgeon knows the name of a cornea specialist in Sydney so when we arrive there will be someone there as a backup.

So, here we are living out of our mission suitcases in the home of our daughter, her husband and our grandchildren, just waiting to see what unfolds. We spoke in church yesterday which would normally have been our 'goodbye' talk but it was a 'provisional good bye'. It is interesting to me how life works. Often we make plans and then life happens. We know that our Father in Heaven is in charge, even over things like our eyes. 

We have no doubt that there is a reason for this delay. We just do not know what it is. But we accept the Lord's time frame. Experience has taught us that the Lord uses great economy with the events of our lives. What I mean is that this delay in our schedule will impact not only us but will also affect others in necessary ways that we may not understand. I strongly believe that things happen for a reason. We are grateful to know that the Lord knows who we are. We feel confident that all will be well.

In the meantime although we will miss our Thanksgiving gathering with several of our children in Utah, we will enjoy our time with our daughter's family here in Washington. We were able to enjoy watching our grandson perform as Prince Charming in his high school musical of Cinderella and just enjoy spending the time with this special family.

I will also be able to continue organizing our pictures which project has turned out to be a much larger than I first anticipated possibly because I not only had our pictures and negatives but those of my mother's and some of Steve's mother's.  I have even had to order MORE archival sleeves. But I believe I will have enough time to finish the project and preserve those memories. We may or may not leave before Christmas. Only time will tell. But the Lord knows and it will be alright.

In the meantime we live in our interesting state of limbo just waiting to see what the Lord has in mind for us.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Guess we are 'homeless' for awhile

Our 9 year old granddaughter gave us this picture of a koala bear she had colored "because you are going to see koalas". I told her I was sure we would but that they might not be the same color. 

What a week this has been! Lots of last minute packing, despair and tears as I felt overwhelmed, gratitude for the many kindnesses shown, general fatigue, finishing projects and trying to make lists of things yet to be done. 

I have to give a shout out to Rick at Transparent Office Supply who went the extra mile to make sure my order for the needed additional archival photo sleeves was correct and sent asap despite a death in his family. I was so grateful to get my sleeves on time so I could work on the photos. Filing those photos has been a huge undertaking. Not quite done but hope to finish while we are in our daughter's home.

Saturday was the day the rest of our "stuff" was moved out of our house. How does one have so much "stuff"? A special thanks to the many wonderful people who helped get  the rest of the boxes and furniture  onto the trailer and moved into storage. And to all those who have shown us such love and consideration.
Some of the great youth who turned out to help! 

so much help!!
and away it goes!

The threatened rain did come so a tarp was necessary part of the time to protect things from getting too wet. Grateful it was not a total downpour. Now today we just need to make sure the house is clean and ready for our renters.

helping grandpa burn the 'remains'
Even though our house is empty and we have now slept 3 nights at our daughter's house it still does not seem real that we are actually leaving. Two weeks from today we will report to the Mission Training Center. Wow! When we received our mission call in April it seemed like November 28 was far into the future, that we had a long time to prepare and yet we have needed every single day to accomplish what was needed.  This will be a busy week with the final details to finish. But we will make it!

Yesterday we had a very informative Skype session with the folk in Sydney and representatives from BYUI as we all learned more about the Pathways Program. This program is administered through BYUI and provides a wonderful opportunity for  many people to gain a higher level of education who would other wise not have the opportunity. The cost is so much lower and the opportunities which will lead to better employment are incredible. So grateful we will have an opportunity to encourage this program as we work on our Self Reliance Mission.

This Sunday, November 20, 2016 we have been asked to speak in our Church. We would like to invite any of you who live close enough to come to join us. Our chapel is located at 2550 Thornton Road, Ferndale, WA 98248. Our meeting will begin at 1 PM and will be about 1 hour long.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Then there's the time when I get overwhelmed and grumpy...

I really should have known better than to think I would get anything done later in the day if I had an appointment first thing in the morning. 

We went and got our final Hepatitis A shot this morning and requested 2 years of our medical records to bring with us. So, far as we know we now have all of our required immunization shots. One more item checked off our "to do" list.

By the time we made a couple of stops the morning was pretty well gone.  At ATT we discussed how to handle our phones and phone service while we are out of country. We will set up a plan which will allow us to reserve our phone numbers for use when we return. It will be nice to keep our same numbers since they are tied to so many parts of our lives. And we had to get a couple of XLarge boxes at UHaul to pack some of those things that just won't fit into regular boxes.

I had hoped to to do more final packing in the kitchen but I was out of emotional energy. So, as soon as the dryer is finished drying my dish clothes I will put them into the only box I will have packed this day and be able to tape it up. Hopefully tomorrow those XLarge boxes will be filled with some of the odd shaped kitchen stuff.

No, we did not get everything packed last week as I had hoped but we made good progress. I started to worry about all of my 50 years of photos which have not been properly filed; and realized that I could not go off to Australia for 2 years without making sure they were safe and under control. As I put the photos into archival sleeves I soon realized I did not have enough sleeves needed for all my pictures and negatives. I found the company who bought out the company I had dealt with before and ordered what I need. While waiting for the order to come I have been able to successfully organize the pictures in preparation for the arrival of the sleeves.

So, I have enjoyed a trip down memory lane this past week as I have looked through hundreds of photos. I have smiled as I have seen so many wonderful shots of our family and some of our activities. We really did have a lot of fun times! Time has flown. It is crazy to realize that my baby is 33 years old!

And then I found 2 more boxes of pictures and negatives that I had overlooked!!! Oh, I felt very overwhelmed, and a little grumpy. But I am dealing with it.

We continue to learn more about the parameters of our responsibilities on our upcoming mission. I am so amazed at the breadth of the care that is offered to so many people. Our Father in Heaven has such a great love for each of His children as do our Church leaders. It will be our great privilege to play a small part in helping provide the care needed by so many.

Only 24 more days until we report to the Missionary Training Center in Provo; 17 more days until we fly to Utah and see our families the week of Thanksgiving; 8 more days until our house will be emptied and 5 more days until we go over to stay at our daughter's house so our house can be emptied and cleaned.

But tonight we will take a break and go with friends to see Carmen.