Sunday, April 3, 2016

A Call for Prayers

  Again, more apologies for another delay in the beginner's series... I know you guys are waiting, and I'm sorry. I can tell you that I'll get to it as soon as possible; I just don't know when that will be. I have decided that I should never make plans. Ever. I'm great at sheduling and planning, but life doesn't seem to be on track with my strategy. And that is what has lead me to this strange request...

  For those of you who don't follow my posts regularly or don't really know me, allow me to explain that I'm not religious. Not. One. Bit. And I know that's a touchy subject. But just as I always hope that it doesn't offend anyone, I try my best to not be offended by anyone's beliefs. I think that religion (in most cases) is a great teaching in how to live your life while being the best person you possibly can be. I do believe in most of the do's and don'ts, I just go about in in a natural way without having to be reminded every Sunday.

  I hope my opinion doesn't offend you; I just wanted to make it clear for my request. I lost my grandma. Then I had to put my dog down. And so many of you wonderful people leave me comments on the blog, social media, and even reach out to me personally to offer your prayers. I appreciate it. No, truly, I do. I just never really know how to properly respond back to that, because I don't pray in return. I do wish you well, and I can offer heartfelt sympathies. There just doesn't seem to be an equal response to "I'll pray for you".

  So this time, I'm asking for your prayers, but not for me. Please, do not offer to pray for me. Take every bit of that prayer energy that you can spare and please send it to my mom. Her name's Kaye. I don't know if you need a name to pray for somebody, but I guess maybe that helps. She fell or passed out Wednesday night, and she's been in the hospital since. Her gallbladder is infected and majorly inflammed, her liver isn't working right, and they don't know if she can hold up to the surgery she needs.

  About ten years ago, my mom survived a brain tumor and the resulting surgery that they said she might not make it through. Even came out still able to walk, speak normally, and all the rest of the things they said she would do or not do afterwards. She made a full recovery, and she swears she did it because she could feel all the people praying for her. She told me that people from other churches that she didn't even know were praying for her, and she could feel it. Seriously, ya'll do that? Like, you just have a list of people that you don't know, but they need prayer, so you go down the list? I don't know how it works... I just think she could use some of that again now.

  I don't believe in angels, except for the living ones that walk the earth. My angel patterns are all for my mom. But they're also some of my most popular patterns, which tells me that many of you are no stranger to my request. I hope it doesn't seem selfish, me asking for you to pray for her while telling you I never do... I don't know the rules. But I'm not asking for me. I think maybe I'll take some yarn and a hook with me tomorrow, and do that thing I can do: Make her a new angel. Maybe ya'll can help her with the rest of what she needs...

Thanks, everybody.     

(If you want links to the patterns shown, you can find them here and here.)

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  Hey, everybody, I'm popping in with a quick update before I get back to the hospital... First of all, thanks for your thoughts and prayers. So, after much arguing among doctors, they decided to do the surgery. Apparently, removing the gallbladder can be minimally invasive nowadays, but because of the extreme state of inflammation they had to open her up the old fashioned way... All the way up. Recovery will be long and painful. 

  She made it out of surgery yesterday (Sunday) afternoon, but she hasn't been able to breathe without the ventilator since. I gave her a kiss and said "love you mom", and she opened her eyes. The nurse assures me that it's just reflexes... Wow, aren't they comforting... 

  As for crochet, it's saving me from going nuts in the waiting rooms. My idea to crochet her a new angel became five skeins in my bag, which will become a new afghan. It started off as an idea for a big granny blanket, but I changed my mind and started working large squares instead. So far I have one square finished and the centers of ten squares ready. Now it's time to grab my bag and get on the road so I can be there when they try again to get her to breathe. 

  On a side note, my car turned into a spaceship on the way back from taking The Other Half to work this morning. Flipping on the turn signal causes every light in the car to start flashing, and the windshield wipers stopped working. It's raining even though it isn't supposed to be. There's tons of sirens going up and down the highway, even though I live in the middle of nowhere - I wonder what in the world is going on out there. Today seems like such an ominous day that I can barely breathe myself. Take care of yourself, people! I'm going to hope me and mine make it through the day.

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  Update: What day is it? IDK, I think it's Wednesday; I've been at the hospital every day and they all seem the same. Let's get the car situation out of the way... No more spaceship lights, but now I have to hold the wires in the brake switch to put it in gear. I hate my car.

  Anyways, that doesn't matter, it's just stressing me out. My parents' neighbor called yesterday, and let me know that she and her whole church are praying for my mom. It's comforting to know that mom would appreciate it. She's still on the ventilator, not taking the feeding solution they started giving her through a tube, and as of this morning she is not responding to any stimulation. 

  For crochet: I have half an afghan finished. Sorry I haven't been able to get any photos, but there will be time for that later. I'm doing ten-round granny squares with a color change every two rounds. I may work a more interesting border around them before joining, then match the border around the whole blanket. One thing's for certain - I'm glad I picked granny squares. I'm able to work them up while not looking, so I can turn my good ear to the doctors and nurses while still keeping my hands busy. 

  I've learned a few crochet-things while working on it in the hospital: Two of my mom's nurses are former crocheters; many more people than I thought know that it's crochet and not knitting; some people still call it knitting, but I don't take offense, lol. Also, almost everybody that sees me working on it asks some kind of question. Some say it's a dying/dead art, but it seems like everybody is interested in crochet.

  I don't know how often I'll be able to update this post, or when I'll get back to the beginner's series. I may try to hit a link party tonight before I hit the hay... Maybe I'll share this post in an attempt to drum up prayers for mom. I don't know what else to do at this point other than hope that the next procedure they try will help. Thanks to those of you who are praying, sending us good vibes, keeping us in your thoughts, or any other way you send positive energy. It sure seems to have saved her once; I hope it really is powerful enough to work again.

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  Finally, back with a new update and some good news: First of all, let me say that boy, this sure has been a roller coaster ride of emotions. After nearly two weeks in a coma and doctors advising us that we should consider removing mom from life support, SHE WOKE UP! The 12th was my parents' 42nd wedding anniversary, and recovery was starting to look impossible. Before I left for the night, I told mom that waking up would be the best present she could give my dad. The next day the ammonia levels and white cell count in her blood began to come down, she started moving, and opened her eyes a few times, though at the time it still appeared to be more reflexes than actually being awake. 

  I like to think mom heard me and was inspired to wake up, but she also received a pint of plateletes and two pints of blood in that time, so medically I think that's what did the trick. Mentally, I still like to think she woke up for dad. They removed the ventilator and feeding tube today, but although she can breathe on her own, her liver function is still down and she never has digested any of the feeding solutions they were giving her. They're going to start some physical therapy for her in the morning, and see if she'll be able to tolerate some small amounts of food.

  I feel something needs to be said, even though mom would probably kill me... Alcohol is what put her here. The doctors and nurses ask me how long my mom has drank, and all I can do is stare at them stupidly. The answer is: Ever since I can remember, and long before that. 

  You can't convince mom that she's an alcoholic, because her father was one. In her mind, what he was is what you have to be: Drink from morning to night, and get meaner with every drink. The truth is, if you drink every day, you're an alcoholic, even if you're just having a few while watching TV and laughing. They taught me in a drug program at school once... Just one drink a day can make you an alcoholic. When I told mom, she said I was insulting her and I got grounded. If someone tells you they think you're an alcoholic, they aren't trying to insult you. They're trying to show you they care and get you help. 

  Sometimes you don't realize that alcohol is hurting your body until you spend two weeks in a coma. But you can be sure that it's hurting the people around you, and that's what they'll have to remember you by when you're gone. I had my days of fun after turning 21 (and a few before that, shh), but I don't touch alcohol at all anymore. Since I developed rheumatoid arthritis, drinking any tiny amount of booze makes me horribly sick and fuels flare ups. But I had really quit long before that, because I could see what it was doing to my mom. I just wish she could have seen it long ago.

  I used to have those kind of friends - you know the kind - "Bud Curls" are the only exercize they know, meaning drinking beers. As they pushed me to drink and ridiculed me for not handling it, I pushed them to stop, and challenged them to something: Why. Why do you need to drink to have fun? Don't you remember those days of being a kid, before alcohol was even an option? Don't you remember having tons of fun without having a drink? Why can't you go back there? Their answers are all the same: That's what grown-ups do to relax. 

  I don't have those friends anymore, because that's the wrong answer, and I never could convince them otherwise. No, drinking isn't what grown-ups do to relax. That's just an immature person's excuse to drink. Challenge yourself if you drink, or someone else you know if you don't. Even if you're not an alcoholic, and you just have a few for fun sometimes... Ask yourself why you need it at all. If you're not having fun at what you're doing, then maybe you should do something else. And if you still can't have fun, then maybe you're just no fun. Get a hobby, not a drink. 

Thanks as always for your thoughts and prayers, and for putting up with my rants. I hope I can change a life with what I've said, even if it makes mom mad. Let her be mad. I'm just happy she's alive.

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(I failed to get this update published before midnight, so it won't reach most of you until tomorrow... Which is today, jeez I hate being up so late, it gets confusing. Please don't make me re-write it. "Today" was the 20th.)

  Well, good news was only for a short time. Every number that was going in the right direction went wrong again, and they moved Mom to hospice care yesterday. She passed away quietly this afternoon.

  The facility she went to was more than amazing. After over two weeks in an ICU that's anything but quiet - full of dings, bells, the bumps of equipment being moved around, plus constant people coming in and out - everyone at Good Shepard was so kind, soft spoken, and the entire building had a serene feeling to it. Nobody hesitated to give hugs, you could come and go any time you pleased, and they kept Mom nice and comfortable in a (very) private room until it was over.

  With the stress of the past few days it was a welcome difference, although I wish we could have had more interaction with her before she passed. The day before she made the move to end-of-life care, the infection began to take over again and she was failing to recognize us at times. I stayed with her the entire night before because she was agitated. Even though she refused to believe that I was me, I hope she was truly able to find comfort through the delirium of the infection reaching her brain.

  I still don't know when I'll fully get back to the blog... Grandma, the dog, now Mom; what next? I've had enough in such a short stretch. I may be away for a while, or start working up a storm... We'll just have to take it one day at a time. I really do apologize to the beginners that started the series, only for me to drop off the face of the earth in the middle of a pattern. I wish I had the forethought to get all the posts edited before I started publishing them. 

  But hey, I have a few pictures of the afghan I started the day of Mom's surgery. I'll let you guys have a sneak peek when I get to it. I'd like to pitch the pattern along with an article to a magazine, which is something I already talked about with my dad, and he agreed that it was a good idea. I guess I shouldn't share too much with you yet. I'll tell you about it though, when I have time to write a stress-relieving fun post, instead of saying "here's the blanket I made for my mom, but she died before I finished it". I know that sounds harsh, but it's how I feel about it right now. Dad and I decided last night that it would look better a different way, so I'll be ripping my seams and re-working it... But I'll tell that story another day.

  Thanks again for your understanding and support. I still don't know how it all works... Can you pray for someone after they've passed? If so, and you still would like to pray for my mom, then that would be good. But I think Dad is the one who needs prayers right now. I still don't share their views, but I figure it can't hurt to ask a favor for them.

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