"Do Good" Opportunities, Human Interest News, Lewy Body Dementia, Spiritual, Uncategorized

God Grant Serenity…

GOD.quote

“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

I have had a very difficult time sitting down to write.  Not because I don’t have so many things to write about or to say but because I have too many things to write about and to say!  Where do I begin…??

Several angels have written to me asking how I am doing and why they haven’t heard from me lately so I thought that I would post to this blog to let you know that I am still standing and that being overwhelmed is the understatement of the century.

As you know, I am not only trying to help Someone with a bizarre, progressive and terminal neurologic disease, Lewy Body Dementia, all while having been sick for more than a year with a hole in my small intestine–most likely caused by the acid released from holding in lots and lots–did I say lots–of stress!  (Yes, I am now acutely aware that stress can kill you so exercise and relax as often as you can so it doesn’t get to this level!)

In addition, while not the stressful part, I have lots of special needs dogs who call the Rescue Ranch their home–and require lots of resources and time and attention.  The stressful part is trying every month to figure out how their needs are going to be met since Someone can’t work anymore and is on disability, we are now living on 30% of what our income was when we started the RR–and angel help has dropped dramatically due to lack of exposure, I think.  I just can’t do it all, including writing regularly, and as a very responsible person, it bothers me that I can’t juggle all of these things right now.

I was supposed to have the first surgery this past Wednesday, endoscopic–(the docs are trying to do it by going down my throat into my intestines first trying to avoid open surgery from the outside/in which is a big deal) to repair the damage with lots of tools where my stomach and small intestine link up but after the stunning unexpected loss of a significantly close family member on Monday morning (not Someone), my guts were too swollen inside from crying for them to operate so it has been rescheduled to this coming week.  In the meantime, I am limited to a liquid diet of Boost Breeze (a nutritional drink with protein that is thin like juice), applesauce and ice cream.  After more than a year of being sick, I am still hopeful that getting better is just around the corner!  (I keep putting off the surgeon who wants to operate on my abdominal mass until after I can at least eat again!)

Meanwhile, Someone is getting worse.  Staying up all night, he has full-on feasts at 4 AM (the docs are finding me locks for the frig and cabinets) and then he wants to go wander the neighborhood for exercise afterward–and have me go with him–and then takes the dogs out for playtime before dawn…well it all has me exhausted.  No matter what, my alarm goes off at 6:50 AM every day,  which is hours before Someone is even ready to settle down so I can start my day.

Now, by noon, he is able to lay down but in his wake, he leaves the kitchen as if there were a New Year’s Eve party (minus the alcohol), hoards every bit of cardboard possible and candy and sweet things (they are hidden in the den, in the office, in the laundry room, etc.) and he fights to keep it all from being recycled or thrown out, all while calling professionals and writing checks/getting them in the mail on those 4-5 AM outings or while I am napping–which are being returned NSF–gulp–and causing just plain havoc that I have to spend hours daily trying to straighten things out just about every other day.  He sounds credible on the phone but he doesn’t understand what he is doing. I feel like all I am doing is fixing problems and cleaning up after Someone.  The messes and screw-ups, though, are getting bigger.  It is time to lock up the phones and the computer.

The problem is that every major incident causes that acid to run through my body (yes, when it is this bad, you can actually feel a stress hormone being released, triggering the acid and eating through your guts) making me more and more sick. (In fact, for over a year, I kept two ice packs on the spot that blew open last year, trying to quell the pain and postpone whatever was happening. I didn’t have time to get it fixed, whatever it was–and now look what has happened!)

The doctors (his and mine) have been encouraging me to consider permanent placement of Someone or at least temporary placement for a few months while I get better. No stress=no acid release=my guts being able to heal. But, it is not covered by insurance and so unless we have the assets to do that (we don’t), or I surrender the RR and his disability which would leave me and the dogs virtually homeless, I have to either take care of Someone or find a relative who can/will (there are no volunteers to help in any way despite his extended family.  Since he’s gotten sick, other than one visit from his half-sister, I just hear “crickets” when I even ask for a show of caring like an email or a card).

Realizing that I am no longer the super human that I tried to be, I have to nap when he rests and force myself to get up to do both dog, house and property maintainance and I have a list a foot long of my own Honey Do’s.  I am not a plumber nor a lot of things so they are going to require professionals although I sure am doing my best to try to learn.

The RR angel fund has one regular gift of $15 each month. Then…one angel sends a box of Rattle Ball treats monthly; another sends big cans of food and peanut butter bones; another sends gift cards for Someone (and special surprises for him) and the RR Herd as she is able; another collects things with her mother and drops off different size food tubs that I’ve been freezing for treats in the 110 degree plus heat, blankets, toys, and odds ‘n ends that we need as she can monthly-ish; one gives amazon credits when she can; one sends the much needed little dog food tubs and includes special treats for Someone (all who do this just touches my heart), and occasionally, a gift card or prayer card or special religious very special something or an extra surprise for the dogs finds its way to me.  I am so grateful for all of this help, I truly am.

That said, it costs $800 month to feed the dogs and $600 for their medicines and medical supplies and $300 for bones (I try to make them myself as I can) and and and.  I refuse to give up on these animals when they have less than a year to five years left most likely (special needs animals have shorter live spans) but having more–and more regular– angel help, sure would take some of this stress away. The overall debt is crushing and the constant hoping that help will come is a source of unconscious stress. Hopefully by next May–give or take a month or two–I can make some permanent changes or get well enough to figure out a way to pick up a work-from-home income or be strong enough to move.  I know that right now, I can concentrate for five or ten minutes at a time–imagining eight hours of concentration time seems like a dream from way back when and now impossible!

I had to laugh last night when I took a good look at what I personally own.  I have been trying to organize to be ready to pack and get the RR ready in case I need to put it on the market next spring.  I have been making bags of donated personal stuff to give to a shelter and a section of stuff (like furniture and some wedding presents, etc.) that I may have to sell on consignment or give away to angels and realized that I haven’t bought any shoes for myself in over 15 years and that aside from some pajamas, I haven’t bought anything new to wear either in all that time!  I have always made the needs of the dogs and now those of Someone a priority and myself last.  I don’t feel bad about it, I just thought it was kind of interesting!  I don’t even have any vices that I waste money on!  Sustaining and preserving life has always been more important to me my entire life than money or possessions and when I really took inventory last night, it was clear that I am living/have lived what I believe.

Well, enough for now.  We are alive and as fine as can be.  All prayers are welcome and very much appreciated. In turn, every time I am at the hospital, we light candles for you–and that is a very special place in which, I am sure, God hears prayers.  I try to look above the immediate circumstances and just firmly believe that God has brought us here and so He will bring us through it!  He can move the heart of one, some or many to help or to pray or to find ways to make a difference in any of our lives.  Remember, every act of caring and compassion counts, no matter the size.  It is all about intention.  He can also send a miracle, a benefactor, heal us, any one of a thousand things to change a situation.  It is my/our job to remain optimistic and faithful.

In the meantime, have a wonderful Labor Day!  If you happen to be in Florida, please be safe and if you find yourself in trouble, please let me know if there is any way that we can help.  Keep your pets with you and be emphatic (and unwavering) about your pet’s safety.  They depend on you to safeguard their lives which is an awesome responsibility and one that you morally must honor and if you can’t, you must find someone who can.

Sending lots of love and always Hugs from the Herd!

J

 

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Cubby when it was his turn to eat some of the RR 2019 (12 year!) Anniversary Cake…

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Sweet Cubby AFTER having his turn at the cake!  He was happy–and even had to have a run with his favorite toy before sitting down for this pic!

Cubby and his brothers were abandoned by a rescue group at the RR–and we were never able to get them adopted so they found their forever home.

All (any) e-credits or cards please send to: a.rescue.volunteer@gmail.com

Mailing address:

Rescue Ranch

4057 Riley Fuzzel Road

Ste. 500-130

Spring, TX  77386

 

Immediate needs:

Stuffed Twist Peanut Butter bones  (as many as possible)

Wish List Wet Foods (three sizes needed: 10 oz, 3.5 oz and 2.5 oz)

Visa/MC Gift Cards (can use for medicine, food, etc.)

Amazon gc’s or e-cards

Burger King, McDonald’s, Wendy’s gift cards or e-cards

Any gift cards to HEB, Kroger’s, etc.

…and IF you are not using a gift card of any sort, please let us put it to good use!

 

Thank you for caring. Especially for caring!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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"Do Good" Opportunities, In the News, Lewy Body Dementia, RR Dog Stories, Spiritual, Uncategorized

Thank you, Alex Trebek: Your Life Makes a Difference

While I’ve been “holed up” writing the tome of all tomes to get my Someone’s Medicare restored, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on a lot of deep subjects.  

I set aside two weeks to write a complex Reinstatement Medicare appeal and to gather all of the medical documentation from hospitals and ask doctors to write letters to explain what happens with his illness. Someone has a terminal neurodegenerative disease (brain) and used the wrong words to try to get something accomplished. Instead his intent was misunderstood and Social Security cancelled his health insurance (retroactively) for one year (on top of it all) instead of cancelling the excessive monthly surcharge retroactively for one year. (Someone was right about the surcharge being wrong, BTW).  The cascade of people who were paid–and now have been unpaid–is staggering and will take more months to straighten out…

In those two weeks set aside for my writing, two dogs became critical, and then became terminal–and my two weeks of isolation to work became a month now. I take whatever time is needed to help them transition. In those moments, nothing else matters but life and death.

First, my beloved baby Charlee passed in my arms. After he was buried, brave, sweet Pasha took a turn for the worst and headed to heaven. She was just buried.  She spent nearly a week laying on my bed and in the last days, she just wanted to lay on top of me, her head on my heart.  Life is just suspended for me in those days–those precious days–and in talking and singing to the animals soon to pass, I get to reflect on a lot of life and after life issues.

Heart.white.red.border

Never lost on me is how precious life is and our time together.  In literally the space of a breath, one passes on to the Great Beyond–and while I truly believe that there will be a joyous reunion some day, the time between now and then is at first sad because we miss our loved ones who have passed on. But then, realizing that the sick are well again, that the paralyzed can walk and run again, that the elderly are young again–that we are restored to our best whenever that was–and free of our broken bodies–makes missing them a little easier to bear and in fact, always makes me able to smile through my tears.

So today, when I heard that Alex Trebek, the long-time host of the television program, ‘Jeopardy!’, has been diagnosed with Stage Four Pancreatic Cancer, I winced. It is one of the worst diagnoses to hear–right up there with a Glioblastoma brain tumor or or or.  He will be in my prayers.  I pray that he has a strong faith or finds faith. Faith will carry you over and past all the fear and pain–if you can just keep “looking up.”

Mr. Trebek has a wife and grown children who will help him now but he will have to pass on alone–but not in fear.  Never fear.

What I have seen, having been with so many passing animals as a rescuer and caretaker of special needs animals–and some people who were my friends and family or even neighbors–is that we are alone for less than a millisecond, for when we leave our bodies, all of our loved ones are within ten feet or less of our bodies. (Yes) We can see them before we pass, just waiting to welcome us and show us what our life after life will be–and it is all Love and all about Love–as our spirits separate from the body.  If you have lived a good life, good in the meaning of trying not to do bad, no one should be scared to pass on.**

Alex Trebek and ‘Jeopardy!’ have a special place in our lives.  Someone used to watch the show with his family growing up–both at his grandparents’ home and at his parents’. Now, slowly slipping into a terminal case of early-onset Lewy Body dementia, the one daily and very conscious thing that he still wants to do consistently is to watch ‘Jeopardy!’  He wants me to sit with him and we answer the questions out loud–whether we are right or wrong, it doesn’t matter–and we laugh at some of the answers we both can blurt out!

What matters is that we are doing something together, that we are playing a game that requires Someone to use his brain (and memory), and I know that six times a week, that the memory of sitting and “playing” Jeopardy on those days with Someone will eventually become a precious memory for me. They will give me something to smile about through my tears, long after Someone either is no longer able to consciously engage with me or on his own journey to the Great Beyond.

Thank you, Mr. Trebek, for making a difference in our lives.  It may seem like you are just hosting a TV show, but to us, you are helping us through a difficult time in many ways.  I will always be grateful.  You will always be a “smile” in our lives.  You have made a difference with yours and that’s what really counts in the end.

And for those of you going through a life after life journey, too, there is a simple but profound song that I play on my laptop sometimes when I am writing.  It makes me cry but it also makes me think. We all should be living like we are dying every day–for tomorrow–even the next hour or minute–is not guaranteed.  I can testify to that many times over from what I have seen in my own life. Life can be over in the next second. Don’t let that be lost on you, please.

Sent with much love and prayers–

Gratefully,

Jane

Live Like You Were Dying   (song)
To Listen to the song on Youtube:
He said
“I was in my early forties
With a lot of life before me
And a moment came that stopped me on a dime

I spent most of the next days
Looking at the x-rays
Talkin’ ’bout the options
And talkin’ ’bout sweet time”

I asked him
“When it sank in
That this might really be the real end
How’s it hit you
When you get that kind of news?
Man, what’d you do?”
He said
“I went skydiving
I went Rocky Mountain climbing
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fumanchu
And I loved deeper
And I spoke sweeter
And I gave forgiveness I’d been denying”
And he said
“Someday I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dying”
He said
“I was finally the husband
That most of the time I wasn’t
And I became a friend a friend would like to have
And all of a sudden going fishin’
Wasn’t such an imposition
And I went three times that year I lost my dad
I finally read the Good Book, and I
Took a good, long, hard look
At what I’d do if I could do it all again

And then
I went skydiving
I went Rocky Mountain climbing
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fumanchu
And I loved deeper
And I spoke sweeter
And I gave forgiveness I’d been denying”

And he said
“Someday I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dying

Like tomorrow was a gift
And you’ve got eternity
To think about
What you’d do with it
What could you do with it
What did I do with it?
What would I do with it?
Skydiving
I went Rocky mountain climbing
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fumanchu
And I loved deeper
And I spoke sweeter
And I watched an eagle as it was flying”

And he said
“Someday I hope you get the chance
To live like you were dying
To live like you were dying
To live like you were dying”
Songwriters: Craig Michael Wiseman / James Timothy Nichols / Tim Nichols
Live Like You Were Dying lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Round Hill Music Big Loud Songs, BMG Rights Management
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For anyone who would like to help my efforts caring for many special needs dogs who have no where else to go, the Rescue Ranch Herd as they are called, please help any way you can:
*
Prayers are always welcome and much appreciated.
*
E-anything–from email to much needed amazon credits and gift cards–from generic Visa to fast-food restaurants, please use: a.rescue.volunteer@gmail.com (or the mail)
*
Mailing address: Rescue Ranch, 4057 Riley Fuzzel Road, Ste. 500-130, Spring, TX  77386
*
Rescue Ranch website: http://www.firststop-laststop.com  (I will update the site/blog after I am done with this project. I will let you know when Charlee and Pasha’s stories are there.)
*
PS  Does anyone have a selfie stick they are not using for an Android?  Someone has a new fascination of taking selfies of himself and of sleeping/cuddling dogs.  He is struggling to extend his now-starting to-tremor-hands far enough away from his face.
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Note: I am on the last couple of days before I can submit this Medicare document, so please forgive my complete “withdrawal”–from living practically!  Next week, I will be able to respond to emails, send Thank You’s, etc.  Just know that while I may be using all of my energy to finish this document–it is so intense that I can’t distract myself.  I need to be laser-focused.  Know that you are never far from my thoughts, prayers and always in my heart.  Truly.
*
*
*
**For those of you who are wondering what to do if you haven’t lived a “good” life, I believe that it is never too late to turn your life around.  It is all about Intention–even if you have done things that you are not proud of or that hurt someone no matter how long ago, doing things now that are “good” or kind or compassionate–and really do them with loving intent to do good–will turn things around, and cancel out in a sense, what was done in the past.
Of course, making amends with the person you actually hurt or did wrong against, would be the best but planting seeds of good–small, medium or big–will make a difference and turn things around. And if you fall down again, get up again and keep doing good! In the very end, you will be asked to judge yourself–I believe, in front of God–and the peace of knowing that you have nothing to fear at that time, is priceless.
For more on Lewy Body Dementia (early-onset means you get sick before you are elderly), please go to: lbda.org the Lewy Body Dementia Association.
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Autobiography, Lewy Body Dementia, Spiritual, Uncategorized

Like Nails on a Chalkboard

To those of you who haven’t heard from me, just know that all is OK.

Someone has major complications from his second hernia mesh operation and has to have an ultrasound and CT scan.  He now has a testicle the size of an ostrich egg and a very large band of rock hard colon? or tissue on running on the outside of his abdomen from his waistline to his privates. Now he has mesh just under the skin (an external repair was tried first) and now inside of him but is not eligible for the mesh lawsuits because it didn’t “let go” per se.  But…

If you remember, his medical insurance was wrongfully cancelled retroactively…or really, the cancellation is invalid and I am hoping to prove it through my documentation and research.

(To read how it was cancelled, see my previous post: https://icantbreathe.blog/2019/02/04/superbowl-sunday-together-time-turns-into-nappy-time/ )

…so I am writing a thesis of sorts of 400 plus pages to get it reversed retroactively. God willing.  Otherwise, we will incur another $108,000 in debt and he will have no medical insurance until July.  With this hernia complication, that’s a long time to wait.

In order to do this, I had to get four doctors’ records, statements and opinions, collect a lot of previous medical information about Someone’s Lewy Body Dementia AND the hernia mesh surgeries and do a whole lot of research.  It feels like a piece of your soul basically goes into something like this.  I have read more about Medicare law than I ever wanted to.

If that wasn’t enough, two dogs are critical–on the edge of God calling.  Charlee Barlee, is very close to being an angel we know in heaven, whose beloved white Poodle Doodle, Jed, is keeping him company and making sure that I hear his barks whenever his Charlee needs a drink or needs to get up to go potty, etc.  It is amazing to watch what an animal bonded pair relationship looks like. (I have seen them before and they are very special.) They should never ever be separated (if fostering or rescuing) and already my heart is breaking for Jed.

Charlee is wanting to keep me within sight all the time.  His heart is failing (Congestive Heart Failure) and his belly is swollen and big from ascites (as-site-eez) or water in the tissues that his heart isn’t clearing.  Charlee and I have been having talks about what comes after life–and who will probably come to greet him (here) and how he can come visit us anytime.  I also reinforce that we will see each other again and it is that hope, that helps me to smile through my tears eventually.

Pasha Dasha has a cancerous tumor the size of a swollen plum that developed almost over night.  It is on a stalk or at the end of a band of tissue extending it away from her body (her rear flank). I’ve been trying to find a surgeon who can remove it without putting her under general anesthesia.  She will be 15 this year and just as a quality of life issue, removing it would make her more comfortable.  In the meanwhile, external cancerous tumors create a large amount of exudate (wet, grey, shedding of muck) and so she needs to be cleaned up and the tumor treated and wrapped often.

Between reading, working on the computer, no sleep and crying, my eyes are taking the worst of it.  I have to take an hour “eye break” every three hours or so.

Before God called my mother, she had sent me a basket of things, recipes and notes from her (that is almost empty) I might need some day–to go into when I think of her.  It is as emotional as it is sweet and the things I find are funny, useful, and thoughtful.  I took out the cucumber eye pads one time and put them in the ‘frig in case I ever needed them.  They are a godsend right about now. I wish she were here…She loved Someone like her own son and so I know that she is here with us “in spirit” and in love. (It brings me to my knees when one of her notes drops out, in her handwriting, and starts with, “Hi, You Two…I love you so much…”)

So, please forgive me for not responding to email or texts or mail right now.  I must use every ounce of energy I can muster to get this Medicare Reinstatement Thesis in–it is taking energy from deep inside me to do this but if I start diverting my attention, I will not be able to do it.  Hoping to get it out this week, and then getting our Senator involved after that, I can take a break and will be back in touch with y’all.

In the meantime, please know that I am so deeply grateful to those of you who have cared and still cared about us.  This is a very lonely, scary, uncharted place to be in.  I don’t know what people do if they don’t believe in God and have their faith to stand on because it seems like at least hourly, I check in with Him just to keep going right now.  (If I didn’t have to do this report, I wouldn’t be so overwhelmed but it is a “must do” and there is no one else to do it.)

I love you all very, very much and open your cards slowly and thoughtfully and read them and treat them as precious gifts and hugs.  I take your gift cards and put them in my wallet to use when I need a break (like now) from cooking and managing 6 different sets of eating demands (special needs/end of life dogs are very picky!)  I tuck away your other gifts for emergencies or those times when there just isn’t funds to cover whatever is needed–whether you designate them for the dogs, for what is needed or for Someone.

Please say a prayer that I have the strength of spirit and soundness of mind and argument to get this reinstatement request done and heard.  I will continue to say prayers of thanks for all of those helping us.  Also, please keep Someone, Charlee and Pasha in your prayers.  I just hope that they hold on while I get this submitted.  I don’t think I would have the energy of spirit to grieve and get it done so I am pushing myself to get it out.  My eyes will be so swollen from crying that typing will be out of the question so the urgency is definitely being felt so Someone can get help.  Then, I will turn it over to God, knowing that I did everything I could do and it is in His hands.

Please continue to write and email and help if you can.  Next week, I will catch up on all of my “thank you’s” and responses.  Please except this, “THANK YOU” for now and a big hug!

Thank you for caring. Especially for caring.

PS  For those of you who have been following my own stuff, the full-body PET scan was finally approved mid-Jan!  I think the insurance company delayed it for three months to carry it over to a new deductible year since last year, with me having been emergency hospitalized, spent a week in the ICU, had transfusions and surgery and Someone had surgery, too, in 2018, there was no deductible left and the PET would have been free.  Now, its a new year and everything reset and we would have to pay 100% of it to go towards our high deductible plan. My next project is to get the deductible waived.  What happened seems kinda fishy and like some insurance law was broken or at least some moral ones were.  Research, more research to do while the docs are biting at my heels to get the test done for my own sake.

Mailing address:

Rescue Ranch, 4057 Riley Fuzzel Road, Ste. 500-130, Spring, TX  77386

Email for e-anything: a.rescue.volunteer@gmail.com

 

I Love You.

We Love You.

The Herd Loves You!

 

“The best kind of people are the ones that come into your life and make you see the sun where you once saw clouds. The people that believe in you so much, you start to believe in you too. The people that love you, simply for being you. The once in a lifetime kind of people.” —Anonymous

 

Note: To sign up to receive my new posts in your email, just go to the top of this page and click on the three lines in the black box.  It is a menu box.  One of the four options is to sign up for the posts.  I hope you do so.  If you could send this URL  Icantbreathe.blog to others as well or post on other social media sites, that would help build my blog.  I am trying to educate people as well as share our life and stories.   Thank you much!

 

 

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