A Case of Neglect

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Oops! Road Sign

 

It was just iron.  I’ve had iron-deficiency anemia for most of my life.  I was once turned away from donating blood because they told me, “You are anemic.”   But I knew my iron was low since at least the start of 2013 – mostly around 7.4 [normal = 11.7 – 15.5].

I had made a few irregular attempts to correct my low levels.   Like taking Blackstrap Molasses, eating more beets, and eating more brown rice and lentils.  All of which would perk up my blood levels, but were not done consistently.

My hematologist [blood doctor] would suggest blood transfusions each time I saw her.  I refused, afraid of what might happen.  I’d had 11 successful transfusions between 1977 and 1979.  But this was a different time.  New germs [my thinking]?  But months passed and I let improving the iron slip into the background of my busy days.

It seems crazy to have to share this experience with you all, since I wrote to you about homeostasis, in this Blog, on January 23, 2013.  I should have done better.  Here is part of “Balancing Act”:

Homeostasis means keeping conditions inside the body balanced within certain limits; within a certain range.  No matter what is going on outside the body, things inside must remain stable.  Sure, they can change a bit, but not too much or too little.  If conditions go too high or too low outside their limits, over time, the body is thrown out of balance.

When balance is lost and the cause is not corrected, over time, this makes it easy for a person to get sick; it lays the foundation for every disease.  Some of the things that need to stay in balance include oxygen and breathing; heart-beat and blood pressure; the amount of water in the body; body temperature;   acidity or alkalinity [pH]; blood levels of glucose [sugar], and other needed nutrients [like carbohydrates, essential fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals – like iron]; and the amount of waste products present. 

Every organ-system in the body [like the circulatory system, immune system, nervous system, etc.] helps to keep all these things in balance.  

Don’t neglect any imbalance – things being too high or too low [or too much or too little].  The body tolerates it – for a while.  But bit by bit it’s damaging some part or parts of the body.  Whether your imbalance is blood pressure, dehydration, fats, sugar, iron, not enough rest, or something else, deal with it quickly and consistently.  Or, disease will not be far behind.

Prime example: me.  Last week I landed in hospital with a diagnosis of mild congestive heart failure, and several other associated diagnosis.  I had swelling from my toes into my hips.  Very scary business.  Considering all the things that were now wrong with me, I told my husband, “If  I didn’t know God, and that He can do anything, I would cry.”  Probable cause for my heart failure?  Very low iron-deficiency anemia over time.  Because of the low iron, my poor heart muscles had to pump extra blood to make up for the lesser amounts of oxygen that the blood could carry [the more iron, the more oxygen the blood can carry].  And muscles need iron to work well [so do the brain and immune system].

What was a simple and treatable condition, became one of much damage [to heart muscle], suffering, loss of time and money.  Prevention and correction are way easier to deal with. 

So dear ones out there in cyber world, do not neglect any excesses or deficiencies in your body.  Don’t laugh them off or take time in treating them.  Homeostasis is no joke.  The body can shut us down or take us out of this life if we neglect it.  OK?

So grateful  that God kept me through this crisis.  See you next time.

 

Copyright © 2013 Regina Spence

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Being Grateful

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Grand Teton National Park

Being grateful is a powerful promoter of good health – not only of body, but of mind and spirit.  This is a choice of course.  For life can often punch us in the face, stomp on our heads, then stand back and ask us, “What are you going to do now?”  We can moan and be sorry for our circumstances, or be grateful for any good in the midst of our mess.  Also, how are we going to deal with life’s messes.  I choose to hand my disasters over to my Heavenly Father, and let him handle them.

Like this week.  On Sunday I could not have imagined the trouble I’d find myself  in on Tuesday.  Several medical problems punched me in the face, and required being in the hospital until today [Friday].   Then having to make decisions about all this stuff stomped all over my head.  But I have approached all of this by handing it over to my Father, and being grateful for the good I’ve found and experienced. 

All the doctors and hospital staff were so very kind to me during my stay.  It was humbling to be weak and needing help with much, and having others take care of me so nicely.  And needing to wear adult diapers and having another adult change them was a major humiliation.  But the compassion with which others helped me made me almost want to cry.

I choose to be grateful and say thank you to God, and the kind people He uses, to make my journey through  life’s messes a bit easier.  I hope you will practice gratitude too.

That’s all for now.  See you next time.

Copyright © 2013 Regina Spence

Et’s Baby, Part 2

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Continued From Part 1 …

We chose a great pastor to do our wedding.  But he announced to us that he required two things if he would agree: 1- Three months of pre-marital counseling.  That was cool.  He said he’d had enough of all the divorces.  And 2- Heath certificates from our care providers.  He said we needed to be clear what each other was getting into.  Because people lied to each other.  My certificated stated that my MS would get worse over time.  Tony had to read mine, and I read his.  He accepted my report.  Major blessing!

But even though Tony accepted me, I wondered how his family would take a disabled person [was walking with a cane then].  Well one day while visiting their church, his Father was about to pass me in the aisle, but instead he took my hand.  He said, “Hello daughter.”  It stopped me in my tracks and I asked him what he called me.  “Daughter”, he said, then kept going.  Major blessing!

Our Wedding Day, 9/14/03

Our Wedding Day, 9/14/03

The wedding was lovely.  We had 200 guests [yipes], but also a small army of friends and family who took care of details and helped us have a wonderful day.  Major blessing.  But I’ve shared much of this story so I could emphasize a few things I learned and appreciate.

  1. God is interested in every detail of our lives.  Talk to Him, then listen.  Ask Him for what you need – as long as it’s for your best interest.

  2. God never breaks a promise – whether He speaks it to you, or you read one in The Bible and claim it for your life.

  3. God has His own time table for doing things.  He promised me a husband in 1987.  I met Tony in 2000.  Thirteen years passed before the promise was fulfilled!  But sometimes God has to get us ready for the gifts He has for us.  My emotional baggage had to be cleaned up first.

  4. When I was emotionally well, God blessed me with the most wonderful ‘boy-next-door’.  Sort of.  We lived 12 miles from each other for years and didn’t meet each other.

  5. Et’s baby has become my Tony.  I believe his Mom passed me the ‘baton’ on our wedding day, after the reception.  As several of us sat on lawn chairs in front of the church, just talking, his Mom sat on my right side and held my hand.  And Tony sat on my left side, holding my other hand.

My Tony is such a kind, gentle, thoughtful, and strong man.  I am proud that he is very smart, diligent, and is a man of integrity – doing and saying what is right. I am so very, very grateful for him and his love.  He is my love, my best friend, my beach buddy, and my partner in whimsical things.

Tony in Chicago

Tony in Chicago

Each evening he comes home from work and asks me, “What can I do for you?”  He does for me before I ask for help.  And when transferring from the scooter to the car, his hand is always right there.  There are times my legs buckle and I fall and can’t get up.  He’s there to give a strong lift.  He doesn’t complain.  Our life is different than what I [and maybe he] envisioned 10 years ago.

One of the things that nearly breaks my heart about this man are his prayers.  Whether we are going out in the car, or going to eat a meal [at home or out]. He always reaches for my hand before praying.  Or when he prays over me that God will take care of me during my day, and give him the strength to help me!  My Tony is an off-the charts blessing!

Mutley and her Tony

Mutley and her Tony at his Dad’s 90th Birthday Party

That’s all for now.  See you next week.

Copyright © 2013 Regina Spence

Et’s Baby, Part 1

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ET and her Tony - at 13 months

ET and her Tony – at 13 months

 

Her name was Ethelyn, but her husband called her Et for short.  From the first day that I met her, if her son Tony, was in a room, she’d turn to me with a bright smile and twinkles in her eyes and say, ”There’s Tony.  That’s my baby.”  Her delight in him was obvious – even when he was forty years of age! She had a right.  He was the last of four siblings, born after the others were grown and moved away.  Many have told me that he was a spoiled brat.  While it’s possible, there may have been some cause.

His birth was traumatic – born with the umbilical cord around his neck, and all the near-death complications that comes with that.  Every time that Mother saw her son alive, well, and in his right mind, she probably remembered all the intense prayers for God to save her baby, and how He answered them!  His life was a miracle!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Et and her hubby of [at that time] 50 years marriage

I met his parents before I met Tony.  My girlfriend had been trying to set us up.  “She told me, “You’ll like him.  He’s smart, and you two would be as happy as two bugs in a rug.” No, no, no.  I was done with guys.   I had so many bad relationships and was ready to live a contented single life.  But when I needed a ride to his church, my friend said she’d get me one.  I was suspicious.

When the ride arrived, an older gentleman was at the wheel.  I thought my friend was setting me up with and old guy, until I saw the older lady in the passenger seat.   A delightful couple.   When we arrived at church the most astounding thing happened.  I have to take you back many years so you can grasp this.

On a Wednesday evening in October 1987, God let me know that He had my husband for me.  Amazing!  But I believed Him.  I’d heard His voice many times before, and knew He was interested in everything in my life [and yours too].  I’d been asking Him for a husband, since my track record with choosing dates was a mess.  I could look on a guy’s appearance, listen to his words, and watch his actions.  But my low self-esteem made it easy to believe their lies.  But God looked past the fakeness and saw the true heart of a guy [or a gal].  No baloney got past Him.  So, I was happy to have a certified heavenly promise.  But that was 1987.

Many years passed and no husband showed up.  After one really disastrous relationship I asked God how I could have got into such a mess.  He told me that guy was a counterfeit.  One of my mentors told me to do a study on counterfeits.  I did and learned two outstanding things: 1- Every counterfeit has a reality.  And 2- Whenever God or man has anything good to help us and improve life, there is always a counterfeit of that good thing. So be careful who and what you believe.

Also during that time I learned that, emotionally, I was not ready for a healthy relationship.  I had so much baggage that  had to be cleaned up first.  And that happened from December 1998 to December 1999, when my counselor helped me mend my emotional broken wing.  Then in 2000 I met Tony!

So, fast speed back to arriving at the church with this older couple.  While waiting in the foyer to go in, I looked through the window and saw a young man up front talking.  God said to me firmly, “That’s your reality.”  But I responded, “No, Lord.  No more guys.”

Many details have to be lift out, but I did give into the idea that this young man was heaven’s choice for my husband.  We talked and dated, and one evening he asked “How long is a courtship?”  Shortly after followed the proposal, and then all the wedding plans.  Get a good wedding planner when able!

Our Wedding Day, 9/14/03

Our Wedding Day, 9/14/03

To Be continued In Part 2

Copyright © 2013 Regina Spence.