Monday, May 12, 2008

my friend Sam

geee three posts in two days--what is up with that?
Anyway-- I have dear family and church friend named Sam. This picture is of Sam soon after he came to New Day (new day foster home) He is 3 yrs old. He was born in China but met his forever family and came to the USA about 18 months ago. Family consist of a mom and dad (who i call Vicki and Rick) his big sister Stacie, two older brothers, Ryan and Eric, and another sister who is 3 months younger than him and from China too.
anyway back to Sam--- he was born with some congenital defects of the heart and lung. What should have been a simple surgery to repair his problems when he was an infant. The situation was serious but they did not have the ability to repair it. He has had two major operations since he has been home. And he seemed to be doing soooo much better and he had pink fingers. <<<<>>>> I got a email from his momma today and wanted to ask you all to say a prayer or two for Sam. I am copying her email here--

I am sending this prayer request out to all of you who love Sam and have been such great prayer warriors in the past for him. We are once again in the need of your prayers.

On Friday his cardiologist in Knoxville, TN called with his latest echocardiogram results. She told us that the right side of his heart was “thick” , extremely big and that he has pulmonary hypertension. She started him on medication that day in the hopes of taking some of the pressure off of his heart. Her exact words were “this is life threatening”

I was able to speak to her longer today about this condition and his outlook. It is our hope that the medicine will work and help lower the pressure in his heart/lungs and that this can be reversible. She is giving him the best oral drug she can and if it does not work well for him than they can give him an IV port and he will receive his medications thru IV. They can also (and may very well) put a small hole back in his heart that will act like a “pop off” valve so when the pressures are getting too high the blood will have an alternate route. This seems crazy since a hole in his heart was one of the repairs they just made and will of course put him back to the lower oxygen levels and bring back some of that “blue” color he had but if that will help him than we are all for it.

He returns to the Mayo in Rochester MN in July for a heart cath and they should be able to give us a much clearer idea of his condition and possible treatments. Our Knoxville cardiologist also told us they should also be able to tell us if it is reversible or not. If it is not reversible than we will be looking at a heart lung transplant in the future.

We ask you to pray that 1) The medication work 2) the pulmonary hypertension be considered reversible and 3) that we can get insurance cooperation concerning his medication (currently they WILL NOT pay for it and it is the only thing he can take orally. It is VERY expensive and Rick is currently unemployed so we are already stretched) 4) That Sam continue to have a good attitude about all of the doctors and hospital visits. HE IS SUCH A TROOPER! He always goes in with a smile but it is getting hard on him.

We know that ultimately God’s will be done in this and all situations and while we may not understand it we know that he knows more and sees more than we can possible comprehend. He has bigger plans for our family than we can possibly imagine. We ask that you also remember our family in your prayers as we struggle to understand all the doctors tell us and try to do the best for Samuel. In the meantime as we wait for a clearer picture of Sam’s prognosis we remember Gods words in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”


Vicky Long

I'm such a goober

I rushed home from work tonight because I wanted to see a news story on oxyclean-LOL. They did one of those "let's see if it really works"comparisons. Well the conclusion is that yep for the mom that tested it that it did indeed takeout the grass and dirt stains her 30 month old managed to accumulate today
but I digress--
One of my very favorite movies since I first saw it when it came out has been "Mr Holland's Opus". There is nothing I don't like about this movie. I love the music in the entire movie, I love the characters, I love the fact that they show Mr Holland as a real human with real everyday problems (family and money problems,infidelity--almost, how to deal with a teenager-- how he did not accept the deafness of his child, and the fact that he had a terrible time learning to communicate with that child, I love the fact that they show the deaf and hearing impaired community and show people signing and being social, I love the way the music is presented, I love how Mr, Holland (Richard Dreyfus) loves his students and helps them make music even if they have no talent, and well, I guess I just love everything about this movie. Anyway it is also one of the movies that if I hear it on I have to stop whatever I am doing and watch it.
Tonight when I got home, I heard it playing in the bedroom where DH left the TV on. I rushed right in there just in time to see the last 10 minutes. They were to the part where Mr Holland is being forced into retirement and his past students are honoring him. I'm not saying the end of the movie--if you haven't seen it PLEASE rush right out and rent/buy/beg or borrow it. it is the epitome of a feel good movie.
here is why I am a goober... I can not see the end of that movie with out crying-- They are not tears of sadness but of being moved. I get all teary every time I see it. When the movie gets to the part where the "red headed girl" who made good comes in the auditorium--I looked at DH and he knew i was crying and had giant goose bumps on my arms.
I know this movie inside and out---I know how it ends--I know I am going to cry---but I LOVE this movie and the message of hope and love that it ends with.
OK I am finished being a goober now

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Time's passing Faster than I can Comprehend

Last week was a week of changes-- On Friday May 2, 2007 I got to mark something off of my long , long bucket list.
I got to milk a cow. Now I know to people that have grown up around farm animals and that are used to this , it's not a big deal. But , to me It is a big deal. First of all because I am pretty terrified of cattle. As a child I was chased by a newly de-horned bull. I was in the pasture with my brother and cousins, all of which were much older than me. Anyway the bull was let loose into the field and he was rightly so mad. He came after all of us, and since I was the youngest I could run as fast as everyone else. He got closer and I ended up on a big rock in the middle of the field. The best I can remember is that he kept circling the rock and wouldn't let me down. They had to come rescue me in the jeep. Not surprisingly it sorta soured me on cattle and I have avoided them until Friday. The lady that helped me achieve my goal only had a number, no name, and was pregnant. She was 5 years old and due in December to deliver.

In many ways this was a very surprising experience....She was a jersey and really gentle. When my DD asked the 'cow man” if I could milk her he was very nice (Katie worked at the homestead where the demonstration was being held—and had asked if I could try it before). She had beautiful big brown eyes. When I went into the closure where she was the girl in there told me just to put my hip against her and tug on her teat. I had always heard it was hard to do. Now I am guessing she is was extra easy or something, but I just did what they told me and – viola' ---- milk. LOL I know that is dumb but to me it was fun. I was surprised at how thin the milk looked. It looked more like skim milk than what I imagined. The milk was not being collected into anything but when it went by it looked thin. But anyway it was one thing off of my bucket list.
Then the next day—even more exciting was our daughter graduated Cum Laud with a BA in Public History.I am and was so proud of her achievement. She made it in just 4 years too. Much to my amazement it takes longer than 4 years for most people to get that 4 year degree. I had no idea that it takes longer. Anyway... She worked hard and always took more than 13 hrs a semester.. her GPA was something like 3.74-- which is just .01 away from Magna Cum laud.
We were delighted to be there with her on this important date. My brother and sister in law, Brad and Susie, and Mark's Dad and his wife Lillian were all there to help celebrate this great experience. We are all soooo proud of her. She has been accepted to the Master's program at University of Memphis. Of course I have had a lot of emotions during this time. . I am so proud of her. She is my light of life.

This weekend she came home for Mother's day. It was so nice to have her home again. She went through a bunch of her extra belongings yesterday. Picked out what she wanted to take with her. And un-assembled her desk. She loaded it in her little car. Last evening she and her friend Katie went shopping. She came home with a couple of new dresses and a laptop computer.. That is what we gave her the money to buy for graduation. Anyway, this afternoon we had a meal together and she left for Murfreesboro, Her intentions were to pack up her belongings from the apartment she is in and move to Memphis tomorrow. She called a little while ago to say she was on her way to Memphis.
I think she could tell I was upset and sad because she kept telling me all the things we can do when we come to see her in Memphis. Peabody hotel and the ducks, Sun Studio, Graceland, mud island, Beale street........... lots of things to do. But the reality is that she is not 358 miles away--- on the other side of our long long state,5 hrs and 31 minutes (according to mapquest) and a whole new world away from us but they are the keys to a whole big world