Thursday, April 21, 2011

Paint My Photo!!

Wow...I'm thrilled that artist Linda Franklin chose my photograph of "Evening Tulips" to paint!!  This is by far one of my most favorite macro pictures of tulips I've even captured!  For those of you familiar with the Nashville, TN area then you have heard of the "Gold Building" I'm sure.  I was driving back to help with flood relief in the Opryland area where I grew up when I saw the sun setting in the buildings reflection.  Well~you know me,,,U~Turn queen, I turned around quickly to try to capture the American Flag waving in the mirrored gold glass, but happened upon these tulips and just couldn't believe how gorgeous in color they were.  This was taken around 5:30pm,  sun was almost gone and I used an 1/1800 appature speed with a flash.  I loved it!!  No photoshopping or's all natural! is my picture and then her rendition of it to be used on greeting cards!!  Quite lovely!!

Linda you did a fantastic job!  I cant imagine trying to change the tulip color, but hon you nailed it!  Thank you!  Looking forward to more collaborations!  
For information oh how to view or purchase Lindas art you can find it at 

you may find more of my photography at 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tuesdays toon ~

The past two weeks I've kept my precious Jersey while her mom and dad worked. The hours we've spent together just bring back so many memories and take me to a place in my heart that I can't explain! It's a warm, reflecting time of all the moments that I had with my now grown babies!
Well today I was visited by my daughter-in-law, Julie and my two year old granddaughter Riley. Wow...the sweetness and energy Riley has is off the charts! Her mom is expecting baby Zoey in about 9 weeks and is worn out after their moving into the new house. It's hard for me to believe I am about to be the grandmother to 4 little girls! I thank God the "Empty Nest Syndrome" stage has passed and I've entered this season of my life! It's amazing. Little songs, sweet cries, the scent of babies and my Jaybugg (my oldest granddaughter) shouting and running, "MEME" when we get together. Now I know what that bumper sticker was all about that said, "If I knew my grandchildren where so much fun, I'd have had them first"!!

Today has been wonderful. Dinner consisted of chicken cordon bleu, vegetables with pasta. Ghirardelli brownies to boot for desert with Bret, Tink and Jamie. YUM!! Unfortunately as I close we are again under more severe weather & a tornado watch...ughhh!! I totally dislike Tennessee weather!

Goodnight my lovies!!

Gods All Around!

Look back and thank God.
Look forward and trust God.
Look around and serve God.
Look within and find God!
God closes doors no man can open
God opens doors
no man can close.
If you need God to open some doors for you...Then take a second and talk to him he is waiting to hear from you.....

If Gods not close ~ guess who moved!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Gods beauty

Today found me clicking away behind the lens...I absolutely love these little weeds!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Summary of My Trial Spinal Cord Stimulator

So, Removal of the implant was easy ~ breezy. A couple of stitches and Dr. Shute saying to me, "It will feel like a wet noodle." Very accurate description! Band~aid applied and I'm already feeling the pain return to my foot, immediately. Not as intense...but there regardless. Ugh, as we talk I'm dreading standing up! He is thrilled with my outcome and I tell him how I seriously debated not showing up for this removal!! teehee Amanda was there as well and she'll be supporting me with my getting the approval and procedure complete. She is such a sweetheart and her knowledge of her companys device is admired! I'm glad I've got her on my side! I'm seriously considering writing Boston Scientific and commend them on how valuable she is to their companys reputation here in Tennessee!

Downside number 1: Dr. Shute tells me he's accepted a position in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He will not be here for the implant of the permanent stimulator! What? Nooooooooooo! I'm heartbroken. A physician with the bedside manner of Mother Teresa, yet firm as Sty Stallone and he's moving?!? I'm excited for him, don't get me wrong,,,yet,,,I feel like I'm starting all over.
To top it off the only physician that accepts my insurance in our area is in the same office as the physician I didn't care for. Just something about the fact that I only saw him once and my initial Trial was approved on March 9th but his office NEVER called until after March 20th. (I knew I'd been approved via my contact with the insurance company.) The fact that he only uses the Medtronic stimulator as opposed to the Boston Scientific stimulator is the deciding factor. I have done my research and I am not needing a total of 8 leads in my back that are not controlled independently. Anyhow...that is a separate blog on my reasons for choosing the brand.

Downside number 2: The pain relief was amazing. AMAZING! I've experienced the "other side" of chronic pain which is NO PAIN and I loved it. deal with being parked or very limited again is going to not only drive me crazy but drive those around me crazy! :P It exciting to know that their is relief beside pain medications, yet irritating to know that insurance companies would rather pay for multiple ER visits, addictive medications and morphine pumps before something that can give relief without such serious side effects! Maybe I have a calling in becoming a lobbist for changes I see and have encountered in our health care guidelines!'s late Friday night and I've taken my first pain pill (percocet) since the SCS removal this morning. If there is one thing I have learned with pain...Don't wait until the pain is so severe that the medication doesn't help, yet, once you take it there is no driving and a you have that "drugged" feeling later.

Lord, I don't know why this "bump" has been placed in the road...but, it's there. May we together find a way to quickly get over or go around it. Might you place your warm hands on my heel as you've done oh so many times and give it some relief thus causing my back to calm down as well. May the ice packs stay cold until I can fall asleep and may morning be hours in the distance. P.S. Be with Dr. Shute as he accepts this new position and in his move to NC. Hummmm...maybe I need to visit NC for surgery!

Friday, April 8, 2011


First of all I have to start today with a HUGE~~

HAPPY,  HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my daddy!  

celebrating Daddy's 73rd B'day a week early

You are the rock of this family!
You have been so understanding as I've encountered all this crappy pain!  
Saying, " I Love You" doesn't seem to be saying enough!! 
Daddy, I've been accused of being a "2nd" you and I wear that proudly!! 
by that I mean, strong & stubborn, yet caring and giving!
I wouldn't trade you for any other Dad in the world!!
THANK YOU for all you do and have done for me in my 47 years.  
THANK YOU for being the dad, father & POP that you are!
THANK YOU for never giving up on me, even when I wanted too!
THANK YOU for giving me life!
I hope the genetics run in the family and I look this good at 73 (in the female version) as you do!!!


Thursday, April 7, 2011

60 Hours Later

My Personal Spinal Cord Simulator (SCS) Journey

Pain Threshold from a 1-10******************* 2
Pain Meds taken 2-4 daily********************  1
Soreness form incision1-10******************* 4
Sleep from 1-8 hours************************ 6
Walking pain 1-10***************************3+
Gait & Stability 1-10*************************3
Pain when SCS turned off 1-10**************10+

Today has been a new day in every sense of the word!  OMG...I cannot believe how much relief I am getting from this SCS!  I have been on my feet ALL DAY....did you read that right?  ALL DAY!!  I'm not saying I am pain-free but compared to what I've been living with I feel like a new person!  Tomorrow they remove this thing and I'm afraid I may experience some separation anxiety....(that's a joke!)  Seriously, I've gotten so use to this awkward little piece of technology!!  I know my body has done way, way more than it should have today but it's like when I have a really good MS day ~  you try to get it all done and crash later.  As-soon-as my feet hit the floor I had that slight tinge that tugs at me reminding me that this is just masking something that is going on, but who cares...mask away!!  I couldn't get my shoes on fast enough to go walking........and walking I DID!  I did 4 miles this morning.  Yes, I may pay like ____ for it later but I so miss my walks at the park and then my time afterwards with my Canon.  This is my "back to God" time being in nature and today, while I walked like a mad woman I found myself Thanking God for sending me to this wonderful physician who has taken the time to listen, really listen and hear my concerns.  Although we had to go through a couple of doors (valleys) it was all worth it to be here, on top of this hill winning the war over pain!  I cannot imagine how I will feel when I STAND atop the MOUNTAIN and can shout that I can walk completely pain-free!!  Let me tell you, until you are literally parked, confined, disabled, you cannot and do not understand this.  
My motivation is there but the physical ability is not. 
 It can become very overwhelming, depressing and disheartening. 
which~leads to other medical issues!!   
 Thank you Lord for allowing me to experience this "TRIAL" for without it I will not know VICTORY. 
(I just found comfort in typing that....
get it,
 this "TRIAL" 
I am wearing the "TRIAL"
 just as I am going through this "TRIAL"  

Lord, somehow in words you always, always remind me that all of THIS is MY JOURNEY, MINE!  

shhhh....make a wish, send it with a prayer, right here, right now



Websters definition of pain:


 noun \ˈpān\

Definition of PAIN

a : usu. localized physical suffering associated with bodily disorder (as a disease or an injury); also : a basic bodily sensation induced by a noxious stimulus, received by naked nerve endings, characterized by physical discomfort (as pricking, throbbing, or aching), and typically leading to evasive action


My definition of pain:  
1: It's 6:15am and the alarm rings.  (I've been awake since 3:35)  I place both feet on  the floor.  My left heel suddenly screams to my brain, "NO NO NO."  There is a sensation, a sudden rush of heat running from my heel up my calf, to the backside of my knee until it suddenly crashes into my spine.   It's like an alarm going off...PAIN, PAIN, PAIN.  It's not even 6:16!!  I take a deep breath, hold back the tears that rush to my fill my eyes and begin my short walk into the kitchen.   My goal is to make my son a good breakfast and lunch as he gets ready for work.  
As I stand in the kitchen, I find myself on my tiptoe or worse, I pull my leg behind me and try to prop it up to "overthink" this pain.  Nothing is working.  It's not going to be a good day is all I can think.  No walking at the park today.  Back to the couch with it propped up after Bret leaves for work.  UGHHHHHH.......  How can I make a difference sitting on a couch?  I have so much to do in this life.  This "'pain" "pains" my heart as I need to be mobile.  There is that feeling of dread, that depression that keeps trying to sneak it's ugly head back into my world when I start my day like this.  
Pain...I DO NOT have time for you.  I am too young and my bucket list is way too long for you to keep me down.  It's now 7:20 and I'm supplementing my bowl of grits with a percocet.  Joy.  

 I just found this post that I had written days before my implant but never posted.  Thought how ironic it is with how I am feeling now!!  

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

36 Hours after Trial Implant

.......ooohhhh weeeeee.......

My Personal Spinal Cord Stimulator (SCS) Journey

Pain Threshold from a 1-10******************* 2
Pain Meds taken 2-4 daily********************  0
Soreness form incision1-10******************* 7
Sleep from 1-8 hours************************ 6
Walking pain 1-10***************************3
Gait & Stability 1-10*************************5
Pain when SCS turned off 1-10**************10+

NOTES:  After returning home yesterday I was able to rest and also help with baby Jersey.  Stephanie would lift her and hand her to me as bending and lifting is limited in the healing process.
 Today, the incision area doesn't hurt but I'm guessing where the tip of the "lead" is inserted is where I'm feeling a little discomfort.  By "discomfort" I mean, a feeling of a bad bruise that kind of takes your breath every now and then.  (Hope that makes sense)    

I have learned that when I move certain ways the sensations tend to intensify or decrease.  This doesn't hurt it just kind of takes me by surprise and I find myself making "ohh wee"  noises!!  lol  

Now...about the programing on the remote. 
 Amanda with Boston Scientific was amazing yesterday as she spent several minutes with me programming this thing.  She is one patient woman!!  The trial has four programs and yesterday #4 felt wonderful...well, I'm finding that today #4 is a bit intense.  When I would turn over it would really irritate me,,,now having said that,,,they did ask me which side I slept on and it is on that opposite side that I would turn over and it would do this. SO, yes,I'm trying to stay on my right side when I lay back!  

I woke this morning to make Bret some lunch to take to work and that's the first time I felt that
 "OLD PAIN" in my heel & back calling my name.  Normally, I would endure it until it got unbearable and then reach for a pain pill...this time I simply changed the setting on the remote and VOI~LA!!
  Heel pain is presently being put into "Override" by the Spinal Cord Stimulator!!  

One thing I know is that when I sleep for over an hour/hour & half I most always, always wake with my back screaming out in pain.  I've also not slept in over 3 months without sleep/pain med. 
 As for sleeping a full 6-8 hours without pain med it's been well over 10 years.  

I'm having the trial removed on Friday....thinking about skipping that one appt!  : )   
April 5, 2011

The battery pack & remote control

This is where the leads go into my back.
The wire to the left is attached to this white band and it has the "battery pack" secured to it.  When I need to change the "feeling of sensation" all I do is pick a program on the remote. 
Keep in mind, when they remove the trial, (the one you're looking at)  and they install the permanent version all of this will be placed under my bootie and not seen. 
The only thing I'll have is the remote to use.  
(trying to upload the video and still having problems...will get uploaded asap!)

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