Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Indiana and Administrivia

This past weekend I took a trip with my mom and youngest brother up to northern Indiana for a cousin’s wedding. Another sister and brother joined us, and we had a great time celebrating the addition to our family, and getting to see aunts, uncles, and cousins that we hadn’t seen for several years. We also had the chance to quickly visit a great aunt that I hadn’t seen since I was a toddler, and who is a faithful supporter of mine. I got to see my first snow plow, and was able to enjoy a little winter before heading back down South where spring is in full swing.

Of all the things I’ve been able to do this furlough, spending time with family and friends has been hands down the best. People are important—so important, and I am so thankful that I have been able to travel and see many of the people who support and encourage me.

This weekend I’m heading out again—this time to Montana to visit a dear friend, and then I’ll swing through Colorado for the next weekend to spend a brother’s birthday with him. This time we’re planning on going up Pikes Peak—an adventure for sure!

There is a lot of work involved in keeping a life running in two countries. I am waiting to hear back about the best way to reunite myself with my work permit for Zambia that I had to leave behind to be renewed when I came home, and today I took a trip down to the DPS to get my US drivers license renewed a little early so I’ll get it back before I leave. When I get back to Zambia I’ll need to renew my Zambia drivers license which will have just expired, and I also need to try again to get my alien registration card. I tried before leaving the country, but the office had just closed so it was a no go. I have to say though, while not my favorite place to go, I’ll deal with the DPS here any day over RTSA!

My other big project for this week is to get my taxes sorted out so that I have time to get them looked over before I have to mail them in. Not my favorite pastime, but render unto Caesar, right?

My shoulder is still a little sore, but as I just spent four days driving that is to be expected. I’m hoping it will work out to get another massage before I head out to make sure that it isn’t knotting back up again.

Thank you to all who have prayed for me, visited with me, and supported me in any way. May the Lord bless you richly for how you have blessed me.

Parting shot: As you can see, I came by my height honestly! These two uncles make me look if not short, at least 'normal.'

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Good Pain

Yesterday I had my first professional massage as the next big step in my shoulder treatment. I had a big knot that needed to be worked out, and I wanted it done by someone who knew what they were doing. While it was a very enjoyable experience overall, there were more than a few excruciating moments while the damage of almost two years was being worked out. I'm still pretty sore today, but hopeful that this will be a big step forward in healing and recovery. I'm taking some medication short term to help with the inflammation, and will be looking up some stretches my doctor suggested to help prevent things from getting this bad again. While it almost seems presumptuous to talk about my non-debilitating injury as chronic pain, it has affected my life almost every day for almost two years, and I am so ready for it to stop. I am also thankful that it doesn't require surgery, and that I have this time to get it sorted out. Also, I had some standard blood tests run when I last say the doctor, and they all came back normal. So, things are looking up!

This past weekend my friend from Delaware came to visit me for a few days. There is pretty much no photographic evidence of our time together, but we each painted a tile at The Mud Hut, we spun on my new spinning wheel together, we talked and laughed A LOT, and we may have spent more than we planned to at Half-Price Books in Dallas. I am so thankful for the time she gave me in the midst of her busy schedule, and so enjoyed a few more days with her. There are many things I miss when I'm overseas, but the hardest are the people I love.

After a few rest days, I'm heading out mid-week for another trip this week. I'll have a few days to catch my breath, and then I'm off once again for a little over a week. It still amazes me how easy travel is in the States. Nothing like living in the bush for a few years to give you a new appreciation for simple things like gas stations and road signs!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Home...for a few days at least!

I've been doing a lot of traveling in the last two weeks--in fact, I have been through 9 states in 10 days. Getting to spend time with so many lovely people has been so healing and so wonderful; it has been absolutely worth all the early mornings and many miles. First I got to spend a few days with my sister in Nashville.

While there I got to have lunch with my lovely great aunt and uncle--another wonderful conversation!

While I didn't get a picture, Mary and I drove over to have lunch with our grandparents and another great aunt. Then, I headed down to Atlanta to see my other grandmother and my aunt. It worked out that I was there for Oma's birthday, and we went out that evening with another great aunt and uncle!

Also while I was in Atlanta, I spent two days with a dear friend who took me to the delightful Atlanta Botanical Gardens.

I drove back from Atlanta, had about 9 hours at home to re-pack, and then I flew up to Philadelphia to visit another dear friend who lives in Delaware. We had a wonderful time visiting, knitting, and seeing the sights in historic Philadelphia.

After all that, I got to spend the afternoon with another friend from LU days, and to pick up some great bargains at Halfpriced Books. So, it has been a very busy last two weeks, but I have been so blessed by the sweet fellowship of friends and family. People are so important, and to spend time with those who know me and can help me work through things has been soul medicine. To all you who let me crash with you for a few days, I am profoundly grateful.

This morning I was able to get in for another doctors appointment, and I now have a name to give to the shoulder pain that has complicated my life for almost two years now. I have some medicine and practical measures to get rid of the massive knot that is causing a trapezius muscle spasm as well as to hopefully prevent it from getting this bad again. Again, I am so thankful for a diagnosis, for help, and for the hope of getting this under control. God is good!