Thursday, July 30, 2009

Making A Change Series - Goals

I recently came across this and decided that I should do a series of posts on it. To help me remember if I'm going to make a change, there are things I should be doing. This is one of the 2 things I have posted to my computer screen so that as I work through the day I am constantly reminded of it. I hope that you'll be inspired to continue to grown and work towards change! (There was not an author listed, so if YOU wrote this, please let me know so that you may receive proper credit!)

To go out and change the world one should have:

A GOAL you should be pursuing;
A DREAM you should be launching;
A PLAN you should be executing;
A PROJECT you should be starting;
A POSSIBILITY you should be exploring;
An IDEA you should be working;
A PROBLEM you should be tackling;
A DECISION you should be making.

The greatest force in the world is a positive idea

A GOAL you should be pursuing is what I want to focus on today, as I'm already such a wordy person - I could never do a post about all of these at once. You'd leave and never ever return (and I don't blame you.)

Goals are such wonderful things. It gives you something to constantly keep in the back of your mind while you are actually focusing on reaching the mark!

I have several goals right now! So many things to work on. One of which is Back 2 School Project. Trying to raise $10,000 during a major world wide recession is crazy - especially for a newly founded Non Profit Organization without much exposure. Will we reach it? Who knows? Will we be able to give out 1,000 book bags completely filled with 16 different necessary school supplies? I don't know - but what I am completely certain of, if I do not work at it, we will not reach it! I also know that my motto is giving what I can until I can give big. We will take whatever funds are given and purchase what we can and give that if our goal is not reached.

Missing a goal is not a reason to completely give up! Missing it is the very reason we should work harder, smarter and more diligent.

To assist you in reaching your goals - whatever they are make sure you do the following:

1. Make a list of your goals. List them out and then number them in order of importance and focus on your top 1 or 2 while keeping the other goals in the back of your mind.

2. Make it public. Ouch...that is a little scary isn't it? But, if you make it public, you are holding yourself accountable in front of everyone and trust me, you will work on it more simply because you don't want to miss "in front" of everyone.

3. Set a deadline. Give yourself a "due date" Don't just want to lose 25 lbs, lose them by a certain time. Don't just want to be debt free, have certain bills paid off by certain deadlines. You'll be amazed at what you can accomplish when a deadline is looming overhead.

4. Share your goals with a trusted friend who will encourage you and ask about them from time to time. So easy, but we tend to forget. Our friends will ask us if we sent out those letters of intent for our Non Profit, if we made those phone calls about getting organizations to commit to getting toys donated for Christmas. Share your goals!

5. Enlist help. When I exercise with my sister @marrangee we have a complete blast. I'm usually trying to just get by breathing and she is just pressing on. I want to have a break sprawled out on the floor and she says to keep going. We laugh, have fun, sweat, stink and we do it. Get help where you can. Help doubles the blessings and divides the load! Never forget that.

6. Never, ever give up. Never. Bottom line, plain and simple. Don't give up. Keep working on them. Keep shooting for the moon!

What are some of your goals? Is it to get healthier (boy, don't even get me started there...) Is it to finish your college education and get your degree (never to late to go back) Is is to get out of debt (I know about those piles of Dr. bills over in the corner.) What are they? Setting goals will motivate us to continue to do what we know we should be doing!

Whatever you are working towards - keep working at it! You'll get there!

Gastroparesis - Update

I realize that the "Spreading Joy Corporation" blog may not be the "best" place for these types of update - but if just one other person can relate to what Megan is going through and it helps them to find joy in their journey, then it is worth it to me. Besides, if we can't talk about every step of our journey with friends, family, twitter friends and such - then who can we talk to them about? If you are here, you are at the very least a friend.

Here is the latest on Megan and where she stands.

The Doctors office did finally call and Megan did show some digestion on her scan this past Wednesday! Now, its not a lot, but it is a start.

He is going to continue her medication, deep relaxation and pain management techniques. The relaxation and pain mgmt is due to the fact she has been removed from ALL pain medications as they tend to relax her stomach and we need it to contract. Also - the insurance has denied the zophran - which helps to ease the nausea caused by the extremely strong antibiotic that she takes 3 times a day. They will not even approve 1 a day - only 24 for the month and she needs 3 a day. We are in "official" appeal mode but that could take a month.

She has also got to learn to "relax" (in a good way, not medicated) her stomach before eating so that it can do what it needs to do.

She has been eating a few ounces of pudding and yogurt and while it "hurts" her to eat it, she is keeping it down. She is now up to mashed potato type food for the next few days and then we can ease her into more of a solid after that continues to do well. Being the typical teenager that she is and the fact that she loves to eat, she really wants pizza. If she continues to keep down 2-3 ounces of mashed potato type soft solids, then we will get her a very small slice of pizza that she will take an hour to eat.

Jeff over at Bear 2 Care 2009 has issued his readers a challenge to stay away from pizza for 5 days to encourage Megan - to let her know that she is being thought of and prayed for and a time will come when she can have pizza again. It's a goal to shoot for!

Her next appointment is Aug 26th and I am concerned that the pain of eating that has been there for 2 years is still there and wonder if/when it will ever go away...and if this wasn't one of the "causes" to begin with. Also she will be starting school around that same time. Right now she lays down and completely relaxes 35 minutes prior to eating and will not be able to do that when school starts. We need wisdom and direction as to what to do for her for that.

Thank you for your prayers, tweets and emails of encouragement. You keep us going! My princess has such a long way to go, but I know she will be one amazing lady on the other side of this! She already is!

Photo: Megan playing w/statue at last Dr. Visit

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Always a Mom

When I was growing up and dreamed of getting married, having children and being a Mommie, I never really knew what all that entailed. I knew that Mom's did so much for so many and always loved and respected my Mom for all that she has done for me over the years.

Even though I am a wife - I may not always be one. I will, however, always and forever be a Mom!

Moms wear so many hats and I'm often amazed at what all we can accomplish when we set our minds to it!

We are wife, mom, gourmet chef, short order cook, doctor, referee, entertainer, taxi driver, organizer, event coordinator, slayer of horrible monsters that lurk in closets. We provide miracle kisses that heal all scrapes, scratches and other injuries that do not require stitches or casts. We are alarm clocks to get the day started and the light switch when it's "lights out" for the day. We are the believer of dreams, encouragers to the end and the gentle shove out of the nest when fear arises. We are a constant reminder that can't never could and that won't never will but if you think you can, then you probably will. We are a light in the dark and the sunshine on a rainy day. We sacrifice great things of the present for even greater things in the future. We cry tears of joy as well as endure the tears of sorrow. We handle untimely disasters single handedly while always knowing where the other shoe is. We know that the book you need is on the 2nd shelf to the left – if you’d just look there, you’d see. We multitask better than the most powerful CEO can whip up a school project hours before it is due. We will believe when no one else around will and keep pressing towards the prize when everyone else is at a complete halt.

Even though we hate it sometimes, we are also the bad guy in this story of life. Hindering our children from doing what they "want" to do when they think it is ok. We are the policeman that strives to keep order and peace as well as the Security guard that keeps watch in the night for dangers that are lurking. We are the backbone when they are weak, yet softly praying that when the kids are older they will have the courage to do what is right on their own. We are determined to preserve and protect and will face the greatest danger for our children - all because we are always a Mom. Even though the kids may think of us as strict, mean, aggravating, ridiculous, uncooperative, hateful and just plain behind in the times - we will always be MOM.

I used to tell my Mom that "I'll never say that to MY kids!” When ever she said "Because I said so.” Did that hold true? NO, absolutely not. In all honesty I probably said everything she said and then some.

That is why I LOVE this video. It reminds me that I am not alone. Other Moms say the same things to THEIR children. We are always a Mom and these things that Moms say will continue to be said by Moms all over the world!

Thanks Mom for always believing, loving and for giving me something good to grow up to be…just like you!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Joy of Gastroparesis

Megan had her appointment with Dr. Pinerio with the Levine Children's Center today and we left hopeful!

He believes this is Gastroparesis.
According to the Mayo Clinic's website Gastroparesis is "a condition in
which the muscles in your stomach don't function normally.
strong muscular contractions propel food through your digestive tract. But in
gastroparesis, the muscles in the wall of your stomach work poorly or not at
all, preventing your stomach from emptying properly. This can interfere with
digestion, cause nausea and vomiting, and play havoc with blood sugar levels and
nutrition. No available treatment can cure gastroparesis. Dietary changes
and certain medications sometimes help control symptoms of gastroparesis, but
they're not effective in every case. And the available gastroparesis drugs can
cause serious side effects. Researchers are investigating other types of
therapies for gastroparesis.
He is going to use Erythromycin and Zophran to help treat it. She will take these 30 minutes before 3 meals - which right now is 4 ounces of Ensure (Yummie!!!) She will finish the other 4 ounces a few hours past that. The Erythromycin will also help her stomach muscles to contract - and push the food to small intestines.

In a week or so, we will move towards yogurt. We will stay there as long as we need to - until she feels like she can move to soft foods like mashed potatoes, yummy cheesie grits and oatmeal type foods.

We will keep progressing from there. He explained to her that she will need to re-teach her stomach to accept food - which I had already discussed with her.

She will be doing a 2 hour Gastric Emptying Scan where she eats a small amount of food and then her gift of holding in vomit will have to kick in for 2 hours. They will scan her and see if she is digesting anything at all. This scan will take place July 29th. She will have been on the new meds for 9 days. He will then decide if we need to up the medication or if she still has zero digestion, he said the Gastric Pacemaker would be an option. It is just like a pacemaker they use for the heart - just on the stomach.

This will be a long process. She will have to do some pain management techniques in addition to the meds and thanks to some great people, we already have some relaxation items on hand to help her.

She is tired of the Ensure, but willing to try. She is still skeptical because nothing has helped.

Thank you for how you have rallied around her (and me) and lifted her up in prayer. There is no way that I can tell you how encouraging it is to hear we are praying for you during this time.

I'm so grateful for all of you! I am so blessed to have friends such as you!

Megan is at camp. She will not have the energy nor the ability to participate in the sports but wanted to go.

A million *hugs* and *kisses* would never be enough to say thank you for caring, lifting us up and for being there anytime we needed you!
I am Completely awed by your compassion.....

I feel the capacity to care is the thing which gives life its deepest significance.
Pablo Casals quotes

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Completely Awed by the Prayers for Megan!

I'm coming before you to say thank you for your prayers for Megan. People at my work, people at my Church, friends and family members! Your prayers are what is getting us through this time of not knowing what is going on with Megan. Every time you pass me and say I'm praying for Megan - I was encouraged. I also passed that information along to Megan and again, it encouraged me.

I must take a moment to express my utter respect for those that I follow on Twitter! I absolutely can not name ALL of your names, but YOU have touched my heart so deeply today! It is hard to find words great enough to express my deepest feelings!

A brief history on what you are praying for:

Megan's stomach trouble started 2 years ago. Horrible pain immediately after eating. Her GI quickly diagnosed it as IBS and gave appropriate medication. I never believed it was that but the medicine helped some, so we went on about our merry little ways - dealing with the pain as needed.
In March of this year, we returned to the GI with nausea and he upped her Prilosec. Ordered Endoscopy and biopsies to be taken. All came back clear. No cancer, no bacterial infection no nothing - all "normal". April Megan started vomiting her foods several times a week. Dr. then upped her Bental and ordered more tests. All "normal". In May the several times a week turned into each meal that had meats in it and other "hard" foods. Soft foods like cheesy smashed potatoes, good ole Southern Grits, yogurt, pudding, eggs and the like were ok. Megan was given a Gastric Emptying Scan. She was required to eat more food than she has been able to keep down since April. She ate and was scanned. An hour later another scan. The next scan was the hardest. After many tears because she couldn't "hold down the food" any longer they took the scan and she immediately vomited. She told the technician she threw up less than half of the food. The 4th hour scan showed that only 39% of the food was gone. (Well last time I checked - 39% is less than half!) Finally - a test that showed NO digestion. I just knew that our prayers had been answered and resolution would soon be on the way!

The beginning of June Megan was admitted to hospital for 2 days for observation. She was given Reglan 3o minutes before each meal and still - vomiting of all solids was taking place. So soup for "snacks" it is. Before leaving the hospital - we found out that mashed potatoes and grits were no longer staying down. Even though the Dr. was thinking Gastroparesis - his lasts words to me was - I've never seen this and I don't know what to do. Sent me back to our pediatrician for a referral to another specialists.

We have waited on this appointment for July 20th at 1:3opm for 5 l-o-n-g weeks now. And now - yogurt, as of last week, is not digesting. And as of last night 7-17-09 - liquids are officially having to be "held down". (she can really hold in her vomit...truly) She wants to drink but the pain of the liquids going into her stomach is to great. The nausea that goes with it is so hard to bear. She is sleeping alot today to get through this. (4 ounces an hour - not working. No worries though, if need be, I will take her to ER for hydration.)

Present day - (finally - you say...get to the point!!!) Ok, already. I sent out a tweet this morning asking for prayer for wisdom for the new Doctor on Monday. Told about the liquids now giving her problems and then it happened.

#prayers4megan being tweeted about over twitter!

I know there are so many children out there with terminal illnesses. I know I can never in a million years understand what they or their mothers are going through! One thing I'm certain of is that I would not have made it through these past few months with out prayers!
Few people knew about Megan way back in March. Then a few more and a few more. This morning, after a sleepless night of prayer - I knew I had to ask for prayer. I knew several would step up and answer but I had no clue how those acts of joy would affect me!

My eyes swelled with tears as I read tweet after tweet of people asking for prayers for Megan. Then - names I didn't even recognize started showing up. (I must happily say that I am now following those people - because I want to follow great people like they are!)

I showed my husband the outpouring of your prayers and he was in complete awe by what he was seeing, as was I!

I come to you today to humbly say thank you! It has always been (and will always be) my goal to be spreading joy to each of you but today...I was a recipient of such a magical gift! I realize that I must be diligent about spreading joy because of the encouragement and inspiration I received from your acts of joy! I must not tire, I must not fail. I must press on! And with God's help and your prayers and encouragement - I believe I can do so.

If you have prayed for Megan - thank you!

If you have asked others to pray for Megan - Thank you!

Megan thanks you too!

A million thank yous could never be enough! Never!

YOU are great at Spreading Joy!

"Love only grows by sharing. You can only have more for yourself by giving it away to others." Brian Tracey

Thank you guys for sharing!
Photo: Mother's Day 2009 Marie & Megan

Monday, July 6, 2009

Some Seriously Fun Stuff - Seriously!

Megan is my proofreader. She reads everything I type. She matter of factly asked me the other day if I ever wrote anything fun? Truthfully, I had started this post and just never come back to it. We love fun! We are the most playful, silly people we know. Fun brings so much joy...don't you think?

I love to laugh, to be silly, to play and have fun.

So with that...I hope you enjoy this fun post...seriously!

Oh, I simply love fun, cute, adorable silly things. Really, I do. I know that will come as a surprise to anyone that knows me, but it is the TRUTH!

Here is my all time favorite from Hoops and Yoyo - you just gotta watch it. Visit Hallmark to send it as an e-card. This is how I am before I have my coffee!

Those guys are the cutest. Many stores have their cards. You should send one to someone...just for the fun of it.

The Procrastinator:

1. I believe that if anything is worth doing, it would have been done already.
2. I shall never move quickly, except to avoid more work or find excuses.
3. I will never put off until tomorrow, what I can forget about forever.
4. I shall meet all of my deadlines directly in proportion to the amount of bodily injury I could expect to receive from missing them.
5. I firmly believe that tomorrow holds the possibility for new technologies, astounding discoveries, and a reprieve from my obligations.
6. I truly believe that all deadlines are unreasonable regardless of the amount of time given.
7. I shall never forget that the probability of a miracle, though infinitely small, is not exactly zero.
8. If at first I don't succeed, there is always next year.
9. I shall always decide not to decide, unless of course I decide to change my mind.
10. I shall always begin, start, initiate, take the first step, and/or write the first word, when I get around to it.
11. I obey the law of inverse excuses which demands that the greater the task to be done, the more insignificant the work that must be done prior to beginning the greater task.
12. I know that the work cycle is not plan/start/finish, but is wait/plan/plan.
13. I will never rush into a job without a lifetime of consideration!

Did you guys know I LOVE Chuck Norris? Well, I do and one of these days someone that loves me (or gets tired of me whining about it) will get me to him! But, until that happens - here are my favorite Chuck Norris Facts:

10. The first rule of Chuck Norris is: You do not talk about Chuck Norris.
9. Chuck Norris doesn't read books. He stares them down until he gets the information he wants.
8. Chuck Norris uses a nightlight. Not because he is afraid of the dark, but because the dark is afraid of Chuck Norris.
7. Chuck Norris owns a large private estate in the middle of the Atlantic. We know it as the Bermuda Triangle. Chuck Norris does not tolerate trespassers.
6. Before he forgot a gift for Chuck Norris, Santa Claus was real. (oh..I love Santa)
5. Chuck Norris can find the needle in the haystack.
4. The true definition of Pi is Chuck Norris.
3. The chief export of Chuck Norris is Pain.
2. Chuck Norris can divide by zero.

And my number 1 all time very favoritest Chuck Norris fact in the whole wide world is:

1. When the boogeyman goes to sleep every night, he checks his closet for Chuck Norris!

These are just a few fun things that I hope you have enjoyed. What are some of your favorite Chuck Norris facts? What fun things bring you joy? Please share them with it is truly the little things that make life BIG!

Photo: Megan...jumping on some bed from some vacation we had.
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