Category Archives: Health

Week One in the Big O!

One of the nicknames of my hometown, which I have returned to, is The Big O! (With the exclamation mark, thankyouverymuch.) One whole week has passed since we began our Big New Life in the United States of America. I have come full circle. Getting re-acquainted with the place where DaRonn and I grew up has been fun. Showing the kids around and introducing them to Stateside life has been interesting. Adjusting to the new unspoken expectations has been rough.

We have noted that people in the U.S. compared to people in Bolivia:

Worry about safety a ton more – seat belts, mandatory car insurance, car seats, a disinfection wipes station for the shopping carts at the front of the store, and a very visible presence of well-equipped law enforcement officers all around town, just to name a few.

Have so many more options – huge menus, restaurants everywhere, shops full of shelves full of varieties of every type of thing you could want to buy, channels on tv and on the radio, religious expressions, styles, and employment for a wide range of ages and abilities.

Are SUPER generous with their resources – thrifts shops, homeless shelters, relief aid programs, free stuff on curb-sides and craig’s list, abundance of donations of VERY nice things from perfect strangers, sales and clearance items, and volunteering of their time, not to mention so many gifts of brand new things.

The Midwest is     S…P…R…E…A…D…   O…U…T.

The land sprawls. The ribbon of roads and highways stretch long and wide. The spaces between dwellings feel vast. The immense forests and parks preserved in these borders make me swell with pride.

At first when I began maneuvering in this spread out place I thought of all the space as wasted. My thoughts stopped short. I remembered the reoccurring theme for this season of my life. No, this is not waste, this is healthy. I am regaining the margins which I allowed to be eaten away over time. The corrosion of busy-ness crept in, cramming out breathing room. Reparation begins with the creation of margins.

Margins. Yes, I am letting the margins grow once again.

Margins of time. Margins of space.

Margins for thought. Margins for belief. Margins for health.

Margins to tend my garden. Margins to be still. Margins to breathe.

Margins which allow me to fall in step with the unforced rhythms of grace.

Margins which enable me to be kind, gentle, and faithful.

Margins which suck me down into the plushy, over-sized, purple swivel lounge chair and swallow me up for spontaneous sessions of solace.

the big O

The Big O!

Oh! I had almost forgotten what a livable life looked like.

Oh! There is hope for restoration.

Oh! My God, my Emmanuel, thank you


For a long while I hung my head in shame assuming that God was removing us from our “post” in Bolivia as a punishment for misbehaving. Maybe there is some truth to that, but I think my thinking was skewed. More and more, as I watch this transition unfold, I think He removed us to demonstrate His Goodness and Grace.

This evening I watched my precious nephew wriggle and wrestle and resist the sleep his weary toddler body needed. His mama wrapped him up and rocked and rocked; he finally fell asleep. I smile now as I think about God watching me over the past few years fight and fuss against the rest He knew I needed. Submission to this season came slowly. I am grateful as I look back and see God’s patience with me as He pulled me closer and closer to Him. My, how I pushed against those arms! My, how He rocked my world! Finally I fell…




A friend came over yesterday to check in on me. She said that whenever things are rough that she follows the advice of her friend and lets everything slide off of her as butter. Maybe this is a common saying in Spanish (she is Bolivian). I imagine it is like saying, “Water off a ducks back.” It is a good way to describe my attitude right now.

We were able to get in early to see the doctor this morning (a rare thing seeing as they told me yesterday that I would not be able to see him until 7:30 pm which are the normal hours for doctors). He confirmed that the scans are all normal and that the medicine is doing its job. He prescribed a new pill for the next four days in addition to another round of one I was already taking. This should eliminate completely the headache and finish healing the infection. He said that there was a viral infection and that it affected my ears (the yellow curly part of the diagram below) which caused the dizziness and nausea. The dizziness and nausea are what concerned him the most and those two things would not have improved with the medication. But since they disappeared he is happy to know that it was only an inflammation due to a viral infection. He did say to be alert in the next week. If I do have a subsequent similar episode it will require a battery of new tests. I can return to my normal activities, just not running yet. He said to ease back into the heavy physical activity.

Here is a picture of my wonderful husband and our two year old this morning. Last night was a rough one! My stomach was bothered by the drugs and I was aching all over. Then at about 10 Timothy woke up vomiting. Then at about 2 Gabrielle was also puking. And twice in the night Tyler wanted to keep papa company so he was up, but not sick. The kids are a bit tired today but seem to be fine.

Thank you again for all your prayers and concern. I have felt loved. You are awesome!

Head Shots

Last night DaRonn picked up the results from my CAT scan and then scurried around looking for someone to tell him if it was good or bad. The general sense he got from the couple of clinic staff that looked at it was that all is well. We still have our appointment Wednesday with the neurologist for the details. They also have a typed out report and the final sentence says in caps: tomografico picture without evidences of present evident esctructural pathology. (Translation thanks to Babel Fish. Original text: cuadro tomografico sin evidencias de patologia esctructural evidente actual.)

So here are the images:

Yesterday in the afternoon Raimy let me braid her hair to help pass the time. It was fun! Here are some of her head shots too:

Over all I am feeling much better. The headache is pretty much non-existent. Thank you so much for all your prayers and notes. I am encouraged and hopeful.


This weekend I remained as vertical as possible. There has been some 90 degree business going on, but the main point is that I am resting. I have been in my comfy clothes reading, editing photos, browsing blogs, and watching movies. What I have NOT been doing is stressing out. It takes concerted effort, let me tell you! Here are my de-stressifying efforts in a nice pretty list:

  • Not cooking
  • Not cleaning
  • Not shopping
  • Not changing diapers
  • Not going to church
  • Not doing counseling
  • Not doing make-up, hair or nails
  • Not doing home-school
  • Not stopping the two-year old from dumping cereal on the floor
  • Not worrying about what the results of the brain scan will be when the are picked up this evening

Not that we are going to be able to decipher what the images mean on our own. The technician didn’t seem to flip out when he was doing the exam, so that should be a good sign. Of course he was out of the room or on the phone for about 7 of the 10 minutes that it took to be slid back and forth like a sticky conveyor belt at the grocery store. I actually didn’t feel a thing and was a bit disappointed that there were no red scanner lights moving over my face. There was some whirring noise that had an extraterrestrial quality about it. That was cool.

We will sit down with the neurologist on Wednesday so he can tell us what it all means. Until then, thank you for your prayers and notes of encouragement. I really am at peace. DaRonn and the kids are pitching in and the house looks better than it has in weeks.