Monday, December 31, 2007

Imagine


No, despite the title, this is not a post about John Lennon or the song, which I do love, by the way.

Just for a moment, I want you to imagine yourself waking up one morning. At first you feel OK. You make your way to the kitchen to get your breakfast and choke on your cereal. You forget eating and decide to try for a shower. You get your shower, struggle into your robe and collapse on the couch, exhausted. Forget the hair and makeup. That will have to wait, if it gets done at all.
You are having trouble breathing. Your vision is blurred or doubled. Your legs feel like jello.

You know something is wrong. You go to the doctor. He calls it "stress" and tries to give you tranquilizers. You don't buy it and you keep going to doctors for the next two years until someone finally figures it out.

You have myasthenia gravis, a neuromuscular disease that causes muscles to fatigue easily and become weak. If you have a type that does not respond well to medication, your life has changed dramatically.

I have been diagnosed with this disease for the past 8 years. Looking back, I know I had it several years before I was diagnosed.

But, I am not writing this in an attempt to gain sympathy.

What I want you to do is imagine.

Imagine yourself being diagnosed tomorrow with an incurable neuromuscular disease that will change your life forever.

What would you do differently TODAY?

Just imagine.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Reprieve

My friend has been weaned off her ventilator and is breathing on her own. Not only breathing, but getting ornery enough to remove her own feeding tube and ask where folks are. Louise is "in there."

Her family and friends do not have to face losing her right at Christmas time. No life or death decisions are having to be made at this point. I am thankful for this.

And, in rallying, I think my friend is OK with being here with us for a while longer.

And I am glad.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Another Christmas Eve

I got up early this morning to buy roses. Not much would get me up early, but my friend, Louise, was not feeling well and I wanted to surprise her with a bouquet of her favorite flowers. I found a lovely bunch of cream colored tea roses and called her daughter to find out what might be a good time to deliver them.

To my dismay, I found out that my friend had just been taken to the hospital, where she is in ICU with congestive heart failure. Many people survive this, but my friend is 92. At that age, anything like this is very serious and quite likely, fatal.

When I saw Louise, lying in her bed, her breathing aided by a ventilator, my mind immediately went back in time to a Christmas 17 years ago. My mother was the one lying in bed, hooked to a ventilator, and dying of congestive heart failure. The nurses wore Santa hats and had the nurses station decorated in an attempt to cheer both themselves and the people waiting that Christmas Day. The effect was a bit surreal.

I try to pray, but I don't even know what to ask for. This precious lady is tired. Her husband of 62 years lies unresponsive in a nursing home. She has expressed her wish to go "home" to several of her friends, including me.

But, I am selfish. I don't want to lose another loved one. Especially not on Christmas Day. But, her family and I know what SHE wants.

And that is really all that counts.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Another Christmas, Another Cantata


Another Christmas cantata in the done column. If my reckoning is correct, this was # 22. I missed one the year I had severe laryngitis, but have been present for all the other ones.

The Christmas cantata is sort of a love/hate thing with me. I love to sing. There is no doubt about that. I love Christmas music.

I hate long rehearsals, choir director tantrums, and not being able to get all the musicians together at one time long enough to REALLY perfect things.

Every year, I fantasize about just not doing it this year. Just relax one Christmas and enjoy the season without the hassles participating in the cantata. But I just can't QUITE make myself not do it.

Ultimately, it boils down to this.

I love Jesus and I do it for Him.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

LSU going for the National Championship!

What a wonderful early Christmas gift! LSU is going to play in the National Championship game!

This year has been the most exciting SEC football season I can remember. The lesser teams have made the better ones WORK for their wins and kept most of the games pretty exciting.

LSU has played with heart this whole season. Teams have had to make it to triple OT to beat them. And several players have played injured, trying to hang on. Ryan Perilloux, backup to the injured Matt Flynn, had to go have his blood soaked bandages changed between possessions when they played for the SEC championship last night. Glenn Dorsey, clearly hobbled, played until he just couldn't play anymore.

Now, it is time for them to take some time off and get healthy so they can put away Ohio State in January.

Geaux Tigers!!!