Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Oh yeah...

I wanted to thank those of you who have been praying for my mom. I also ask that you might continue to do so, considering the doctor's report we got yesterday. They don't know what stage the cancer is in because that would require removing her bladder. They did grade it according to its aggressiveness, however. It's a Grade 4 out of 4 possible grades. That's not a good thing. Hopefully, it was caught early enough that the intravesical chemotherapy will work. The other treatments would involve removing the bladder, and who wants that? The good thing about the chemotherapy is that it isn't like regular chemo that is administered through an IV. This chemo won't make her lose her hair like the chemo she took when she had breast cancer did. She shouldn't get sick or feel tired due to the treatments. So, hopefully, the chemo will work. So, again, thanks to those of you who have lifted her up in prayer, and I ask that you would continue to do so. Muchos Gracias.

Dreams, again...

I confess; I have bizarre dreams quite frequently. I blogged about some dreams I was having a semester or so ago, and now I'm going to blog about my most recent dream. Let me preface this by saying that I've not been sleeping well lately; in part, I believe, due to all that has been going on, what with that man dying at Restaurant, and Ma being diagnosed with bladder cancer. So, when I'm not sleeping well, I tend to have lots of weird dreams. Sometimes they're good; sometimes they're not so good. So, this is the dream I had last night:

I was at the seminary of my choice, because in the dream, I was accepted. I went and the semester was fairly new. I was going around trying to make friends, but no one thought I was cool enough. People were actually snubbing me. I went walking with the young lady who gave me, Sis, BiL, and Howard our tour recently, and even she didn't like me. So, finally, T over at Praying on the Prairie came. She thought I was cool, and so we started throwing things in the kitchen. Then, some other people started to like me because she liked me and thought I was worth hanging out with. So, then I woke up, slightly freaked out.

I think I've had "No one likes me at Seminary" dreams before, but the details are fuzzy. And the weird thing is, I know that this is not what it will be like. Usually people like me and have a good time hanging out with me. I'm kind of a funny/goofy/open-minded woman. I am fairly outgoing and gregarious, and I am fairly decent at carrying on a conversation, as well. So, I know that people are not going to hate me. I don't know what the deal is. It's the subconscious. What can ya do?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

9 years.

On this date in 1997, I was baptized. That's right, I was almost 15 when I finally took the plunge (not literally; we're Lutherans!). If I could bake, I'd make myself a cake; but I am horrid at anything regarding the stove or oven. So, maybe instead I'll just go buy some chocolate. See ya.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Jesus Calls Us; O'er the Tumult

This is the title to one of my favorite hymns. I like the tune, I like the words, I like the general message. It speaks of how Jesus calls out to us over the world's loud clanging noise. To me, this hymn says that Jesus knows that we're busy, that we have all sorts of things that go wrong in our lives, and that we are apt to wander and worry. Yet, Jesus claims us in this hymn. In several of the verses, we are called as Christians to love and follow Jesus. "Christian, follow me." or "Christian, love me more." The hymn demonstrates the Biblical principal that Jesus calls and claims us as His own. He doesn't just say, "Hey you, get over here and do the Truffle Shuffle for me." Jesus says, "Come here, sisters and brothers. Let me walk with you in your joys and sorrows. You don't need to go it alone because I want to be your companion." This is especially poignant right now, because my mother has just been diagnosed with bladder cancer. Much is still up in the air because some characteristics of the tumors the doctor removed are puzzling to them, and so they were sent to the Mayo Clinic to see what they think about it. Once that report is received, we will know how to proceed. Hopefully, this bladder cancer is the "regular garden type variety" the doctor treats all the time. That wouldn't be so bad. But, I'm just unsure what to think right now because the dr. didn't say, "Hey, you're gonna die," or "You're gonna be fine." He just said, "This is what is wrong, and hopefully this is what we'll be able to do to fix it." I don't know if her prognosis is good or bad. I don't even think the doctor knows at this point. We have to wait for the results from Mayos. We will find out on Monday. As I venture down this new path with Ma, I just find it reassuring to know that Jesus is calling her, and me, and all of us in his mercy.

Jesus calls us; o'er the tumult
of our life's wild, restless sea,
Day by day his clear voice sounding,
saying "Christian, follow me."

In our joys and in our sorrows,
Days of toil and hours of ease,
Still he calls, in cares and pleasures,
"Christian, love me more than these."

Jesus calls us! In your mercy,
Savior make us hear your call,
Give our hearts to your obedience,
Serve and love you best of all.

Text by Cecil F. Alexander
Tune by William H. Jude

Friday, October 20, 2006

Random Thoughts

Actually, maybe they're not so random. But that's really kind of beside the point. I haven't posted much this week because, frankly, it's been a bad week. Yesterday, things were coming to a head emotionally for me with all that's been going on, and I was feeling frustrated, helpless, inferior, and all sorts of other emotions. I was sitting here praying and I said, "God, I really need some encouragement right now. Will you please give me some?" And all of a sudden, this verse popped into my head. "Be still and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10) I thought, "Gee, that's all well and good, but can't it be something more specific to my problems; something a little more encouraging to my specific plight?" And then this thought popped into my head that said, "What's more encouraging than knowing that the God of heaven and earth, of all that is, was, and ever will be, is in control? That God loves me so much that I don't have to be in control?" And ever since then, I've felt much better. Maybe that sounds trite, but to me, it's God working in me and answering prayer. And with faith and hope, I can know that God is God and has a plan. And that's a good thing.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Be still and know that I am God!-Psalm 46:10.

More on this later.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

And not really a good story, at that.

*big sigh* I'm not sure you all want to read about this, so if you're especially sensitive or not in the mood for a real bummer, please stop reading now.

Friday night, I was at Restaurant. The night was going along fine, although at around 5:30 or 6:00 I started feeling really light-headed and kinda queasy. But, I couldn't just say, "Hey Boss, I don't feel well, so I'm going to go home, ok?" I just stayed. I didn't really feel "sick" per se, I just didn't feel quite right. But anyway, I kept trucking along.

We weren't especially busy Friday, although we had a party of 12 that I waited on. I also waited on a bunch of twos and a few fours and what not. Well, I had my party of 12 all watered, coffeed, and soda-popped. They also had their food. I then had a couple to wait on. At Restaurant, the tables are set up in rows. On the left hand side of the room are tables L1-L5. Then there is row M1-M4 in the middle, and R1-R3 on the right hand side. So, I was waiting on a couple at L2. I had given them their drinks and they ordered and I had just taken their menus when I heard a loud crash at L1 (approximately 10 feet away from me). I looked at this man who looked like he was having a seizure. A few people started murmuring and I threw the menus back down on L2 and dropped my order book into my apron. I ran over to the wife of this man and I said, "Do you need us to call an ambulance?" (Thinking maybe he was epileptic and would snap out of it in a moment and not want the added 'embarrassment' of having had to call the bus). The wife said, "Yes, I think maybe you should." So, I ran into the bar room and said, "Boss, call 911 right now. There's a man in there who needs an ambulance!" I would have called myself, but the phone in the kitchen hasn't been charging and wasn't working at all. So, Boss calls 911 and I run back into the dining room. The man is upright in his chair and his eyes are open, but he is not responding. All of a sudden, someone says, "Does anyone know CPR?!" I say, "I do." So, it seems that all eyes are on me. I think back to my First Aid days and I say, "We need to get him straight on the floor with his head tilted back to establish an airway!" So, the man who was closest grabbed onto this guy and we get him on the floor. By that time, the wife is crying and some other patrons are trying to console her. So, this guy is on the floor and I say, "Tilt his head and listen, look and feel if he's breathing. The guy who lifted him to the floor did that while I put my fingers on his neck to see if he had a pulse. The guy said, "Yeah, I can hear breathing, but it's really shallow. Another woman said, "I feel a pulse" (in his wrist) and I felt a pulse in his neck. Someone says, "Do you need to do CPR?!" And I say, "No. He has a pulse and he's breathing. If we do CPR, we'll hurt him. You can't do CPR so long as they have a pulse. So, by that time, a whole bunch of people are kinda standing around looking at what's going on. Someone from the kitchen brought me a cool washcloth and I (not wanting to put my fingers into an unresponsive man's mouth) try to get the little pieces of food off of his slightly protruding tongue. He didn't have big pieces of food in his mouth, so I don't worry too much about choking, but I wipe him off a little bit in case I was going to have to start rescue breathing. I had realized that he was in fact, probably not having a seizure, but more likely a stroke or heart attack.

So, this man is laying on the floor. I'm kneeling next to him, checking his pulse in his neck, another woman is monitoring his pulse in his wrist, and the man who was helping us kept his face down to make sure the guy was still breathing. Every couple of minutes he would breathe in deep, but then he'd go shallow again. I turn to the wife and say, "Does he take nitro?" She says, "No." Then I hear a woman who had been at the table right next to theirs say, "I have nitro!" I say, "We can't use it if it's not prescribed to him." So we're all there monitoring him. Then, I look up and see this cop standing there, so I move away, thinking he would want to take charge. About the time the cop showed up, people said, "Here are the EMTs" SO I definitely hauled it away from there. I know enough not to try to be a hero and get in the way of EMTS. Unfortunately, the EMTs hadn't actually come IN to the restaurant yet. They had just arrived out front. But they were in very expeditiously. When I left that man, he had a pulse and a heartbeat; although both were weak. And I went into the kitchen to get out of the way. I turn in the order I took right before all this begins. I tell the cook that the food on the counter can't go out right now because it's too the table right next to where the EMTs are about to start working. I look out the kitchen door into the dining room and I see them doing CPR on the guy and then I go out and kind of make sure my customers are doing ok. I didn't know what else to do at that point. Oh yeah, for sanitation's sake, you'll be happy to know as soon as I stepped away from the man, I did go wash my hands thoroughly. About that time, I heard them say, "NO one come near the cot right now." And they shocked him. And they loaded him onto the stretcher and I could see them doing CPR some more and the one EMT telling the wife that they would do everything they could for him.

In the meantime of all this happening, people are using cell phones like crazy trying to find this couple's daughter and son in law. Being from Podunk, I know Daughter and SiL, although I don't know the couple. The wife is sitting there crying and all her consolers have kind of left and I go up to her and say, "Ma'am, do you need anything at all?" and she says, "No, dear. Thank you for your kindness." Then I hear, "D and SiL are going to meet them in HospitalTown." HospitalTown is about 20 minutes away from Podunk, by the way. So the EMTs left and we got everything cleaned up and people were basically stunned and I'm fairly certain upset about what had happened. And I was praying like crazy for that man, and wondering how we would find out if he made it or not.

After they took him, I floated around to the tables to try to calm my nerves (I was physically shaking by that time) when I went back and saw this group who comes in fairly regularly. I said, "How are you all doing back here? Need more tea or water or anything?" And they said, "We're fine. How are you? We saw you jump to action over there." I replied that I was fine, and then I went about doing other things. At the end of the night, I went to Sis's house, as per usual on Fridays because I try to spend weekends there. Needless to say, I didn't sleep real well.

Saturday morning rolls around and I wake up before my alarm goes off. I was having bad dreams, I think. I hear an ambulance go by a few streets down. All of a sudden, Nise comes into "my" room and says, "Trish, you need to get up. We need to go to the hospital." I bolt upright in bed and say, "WHY!?" (thinking the ambulance took someone I know and love) She said, "Mom had to go to the ER. She's having some bleeding." So, we got up, got ready, and left. On the way out of town, we saw Daughter and SiL's van at the funeral home. I guess the man didn't make it. Damn, I feel useless.

You all might be surprised to know that this is not the first time I've attempted to help someone in cardiac duress. When I was 12, I was riding in the car with my younger sister, our friend, and our dad. We had been running some errands when we had a flat tire. Dad got out to fix it and decided that before we went to "town" he needed to clean up. On the way home, he had a heart attack. Because I was in the front seat, I had to get the car stopped before we hit oncoming traffic. I put us in the ditch and Sis and Friend got out. I stayed and tried to give CPR. I didn't know CPR back then though. Dad died that day.

Ever since then, I've had periods where I feel tremendously guilty about not being able to help. I always vowed that if anyone ever had a heart attack in my presence again, I'd do my best to help them. Well, again, it didn't work. And I feel guilty, again. I want to talk to the daughter and tell her that I'm sorry that I couldn't help her dad, but I don't think I could handle it if she was mad at me for not doing more. Deep down, I know that we did all we could to help, but it's still a sore spot for me.

I'm just sad about the whole thing.


Do I have a story for you all.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I am no cook...

Y'know... Out of all the boxed pot pies in the world, I think turkey is my favorite... That being said; beef is my least favorite of them. But, if I had my choice, I'd choose Sis's homemade pot pie, hands down. She's a good cook. Banquet has nothin' on her!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Ay Carumba...

I can't believe it; bowling is almost over. I only have this week to try and bowl my 200 game. Frankly, I don't think I'm going to make it. I came close one day, and have floundered ever since. Oh well. I'm going to get an "A" in the class, and that's the main thing, I guess.

I got a B+ on my first history test. That is somewhat disappointing to me because I want to get an A in order to potentially graduate with some sort of honors. I am hundredths of a point away from graduating Cum Laude. I don't know if I'm going to make that, either... Oh well. There are worse things in life than not getting that stamp on your diploma.

My Capstone Class is FREAKING ME OUT! Yikes. There is a lot of stuff to do and it seems not nearly enough time in which to do it. I'm scared. But you know, December 16 will be here before we know it. I can't wait.

Really, I can't wait till December 1. I am SO INCREDIBLY ready to be done with Restaurant. Ugh. The drama there just... sucks. Yup. That about sums it up.

In other news, my newest nephew is so darn cute I could just eat him up. I was over there yesterday and I picked him up and held him out from me and he just started laughing. Then I put him above my head and said, "Look how high up you are!" and he laughed some more. I love that child so much I could puke. And with that, I'm off. I think I'm going to hit the hay.

Oh yeah, one last thing... No word from Seminary yet. My future still hangs in the balance! I'll let you know when I know. I'm sure you're all dying to hear.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Things on my mind...

I confess; I listen to Christian Contemporary Music. Some of it I like, some of it, I could really do without. But anyway, there are a few CCM radio stations that I am near enough to hear, and so my presets include the stations. Well, I'm sure as many of you know, October is Clergy Appreciation Month. Therefore, the stations air little blips telling us how we can make our appreciation for our pastors known. I've noticed something that bothers me though... On these commercials, the announcer says something along the lines of, "Here are some ways you can make your Pastor and his wife feel appreciated..." Or, "Your pastor. He's there with you..." Not once have I heard a statement that recognizes that women are pastors, too. And I thought, "Y'know... Maybe they're just saying 'him' as a generalization." But then I thought that they might later be more inclusive. But they're not. And it just kind of bugs me that even radio stations have become so right-wingish. I mean, really. There are many women out there who are very effective pastors. Just look at all the wonderful pastors at RevGalBlogPals and really, all over the Internet. It just bothers me that here we are in the year 2006, and some people can't get over the fact that God can and does call women into ministry. I know... It's just a radio blip. But still...

Another thing has been on my mind as well... In my senior experience class, there are some people who have been rather nit-picky about our professor. One of them went to her today and made "our" complaints known. This also bothers me because I don't have complaints about the professor. I don't like the class, but that's just because it makes me incredibly nervous. It's really the only thing that could cause me to not graduate. My other 2 classes aren't difficult at all. But, more importantly than this class making me nauseated, I think is the fact that some of the students present themselves as our spokespeople. And the one came into the room today and was talking to her friend and the friend said, "If you two are friends now, we can't be friends." That in itself bothered me, but then, the professor talked with us about "our" concerns for about half an hour and the second girl was acting all nicey-nice to the prof. It's just fake and I don't really like it. The half hour talk just drove home to me the point of just how unsettled conflict makes me feel. Conflict drains me. It is something I need to work on. Not all congregations can be as wonderful as the one to which I belong, and I don't want to go around feeling drained all the time. That just came up because the seminary application asked for the applicant to write an essay in which they discuss the things that energize/drain them... But, I could not think of anything at that time, so I just submitted my candidacy essay (which they said it perfectly fine on the application. I'm not a complete slacker). Anyway, those were just a few things I wanted to discuss. OH yeah, and I had PIZZA tonight for dinner! It was good. But now I have to go to bed because I have to drive my mother to the hospital tomorrow to have a procedure done. Bright and early. Yay... Not.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

It's a Small World After All

Today, I was walking to bowling here at School. On my trek, I like to go through the student union because it takes less time than walking around through the parking lot. Anyway, I was walking along and minding my own business when I looked up and saw a man who looked oddly familiar. I waved at him and then I realized that I had waited on him, his wife, and his uncle at Restaraunt the night before! I got a little closer, and he stopped, I stopped, and I noticed his wife was there and she also stopped! haha. They had this look of incredulity on their faces when the wife said, "I didn't know you went to school here!" And I said, "Yep, I'm in my last semester" And then our conversation continued on a little bit and we all introduced ourselves to each other (Not something people really do in restaurants with the waitstaff, y'know). And the wife told me she works here, and that if I need anything, I could come to HerHall for help. I was flabbergasted. It was so nice because sometimes I just think of myself as another face that people don't remember outside of the context in which they usually see me. But, these people recognized me from fifty feet away, while I was in completely different clothes, a different setting, and all that good stuff. Granted, these people are incredibly nice to wait on because they are friendly and polite, I still wouldn't have expected them to remember me outside of Restaurant. It was just a nice start to my school day. It makes me feel good. Don't ask me why; it just does.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Pet Cemetery...

Actually, it's not pets... It's critters. Yup, let me explain. Here in Podunk, Illinois, I live with my mother. We have a one and a half story house (it's got 2 floors, but since the upstairs have ceilings that slant, it's called a one and a half story) and a fairly large yard. It takes me a few hours to mow it, although it only took my sister 45 minutes. What can I say, I'm a wuss. But anyway, today, I felt the need to mow because I've been slacking on my yard work recently. Partly because I don't have as much time as I'd like, and partly because it's been raining. So, I came home from school today, got the mail, and walked up on the deck (A Christmas present to Ma from all us kids a few years ago) and went inside. I changed into my yardwork clothes, and walked outside to put my yardwork shoes on. Well, I walked outside and I looked to the left. The deck is the entire front of our house, by the way. So, I looked left and I just about started screaming because I saw a racoon! But, I soon realized that the racoon was D-E-D, dead as a doornail. How a dead racoon ended up on the deck, I have no idea, but it's there. So, I was grossed out and slightly freaked because when I first saw it I thought it was alive and was going to attack me. But, it's not alive. The problem? I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO DO WITH A DEAD RACOON! Ma called my older brother who said he would come take care of it. But, he's not been by yet. So, everytime I walk out of the house, I say, "Dead racoon; there's a DEAD racoon on the porch!" Just for fun. So, anyway I put my yardwork shoes on and got to the mowing. I was mowing around the tree on the north side of the yard and I noticed ANOTHER dead animal. This one was a little squirrel though. That was gross too. Although, that one looked kind of cartoonish because it's eyes were weird and it made me think of those cartoons that when something dies, there are little "x" marks where the eyes should be. So, I just mowed around the squirrel. I don't know where these animals are coming from. It's gross, but I don't know what to do about it. So, I thought you all might want to hear all about the gory details of dead critters on my porch and in my yard. Fun stuff, eh? Hehe. Later.