Tuesday, August 31, 2010

News update, major decisions to be made

Phew, it has been a whirlwind couple of days around here! Phone calls, letters and decisions needing to be made.

Yesterday, we got a letter in the mail saying Marty was eligible for a thousand dollar grant. This grant will be in the form of a pre-paid card and will cover his co-pays at the doctor and pharmacy. Our dialysis clinic was recently bought by DaVita and they work with the American Kidney fund. They have been having us apply for all kinds of programs. Usually we are not eligible because most of those programs are for low income families and we aren't low income. We would never want to take funds from a person with a true need. But we sent in our tax return and we qualified. What a blessing to have some help with something we just count on paying!

 Today we got a call from UC Davis about being listed with their program. The coordinator was very nice and said because of his age and he is relatively healthy, they want to get him listed quickly. We do have a big decision to make though and we need prayer. We have to decide whether to transfer his wait time from Stanford to Davis. Basically, he would have three years at Davis and go back to zero at Stanford. The coordinator is going to get us all the facts before we make this decision. We need to know their statistics before transferring. She told Marty, most people who transfer wait time with three or four years on the books are transplanted within the year. We need to ask what the wait is at surrounding hospitals, because that is what is holding him up at Stanford.

I guess there is a misconception someone mentioned to me on Sunday. The misconception being Marty still works because we need the money. This is NOT true, he works because he wants to be a productive member of society and function normally. His doctors want him to work as long as he can. He wants to be able to get another job if needed someday and not have large amounts of time off to explain. He would actually make MORE money being disabled but chooses not to. It actually would be way easier if he didn't work but he is trying to push through.  He has thought about it on days when he isn't feeling well and weary, I have thought about it on days when I am tired of getting up at 3am for him to go to work.

Thanks for being there and supporting us. We know you are praying for us and rooting us on! We will win this battle and hopefully he will be healed very soon.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Stanford called again today.

It has been almost a year and half since Stanford has called us. This morning while doing school with the kids, the phone rang and the caller i.d. showed Stanford. My heart hit the floor and the adrenline started pumping, " Is this it?" was the thought in my head.

Of course, she asked for Marty who was at work and then I asked what I could assist her with. She was calling to get the dialysis center phone number. Immediately this brought much relief, the center was recently sold and the phone number changed. They are paying attention to things, much to our relief.

Later the dialysis nurse called and told me they were wanting progress notes and labs. She said, this was the first time she remembers them asking for these. Good news, news to be optimistic about but I find myself being guarded not wanting to get my hopes up.

Everyone else has a good feeling about it and got excited. I am being cautious, Marty was pleased to hear something, anything from them.

Maybe time will be soon!

P.S. click on the title if you want to read about the last time Stanford called. That was two years ago, almost three.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

"Hot Dogs"

I really cannot believe what I am about to write, maybe this will be good motivation for me to work out. If not, it is a funny story to say the least.

My Gramie was a big lady for a long time, she eventually lost her weight via Weight Watchers and became a lifetime member. She worked really hard at it and eventually taught classes for the Weight Watcher organization. But when I was a little girl, very unknowingly and innocently, I made fun of her fat. Not on purpose, because I have never been a outright mean person. But I would sit by her and grab her upper arm, you know the underside of the upper arm? the kind that can be flabby? I lovingly called them her "hot dogs", how I came up with this name? I will never know, but my kid brain called them that. She never cared, she always let me touch her "hot dogs" when I was little. She probably thought it was really funny, because knowing her she would have cried if I hurt her.

Flash forward to this week. I drive everywhere, since Marty has a poor sense of direction ( he admits this and everyone around us knows it) and he always rubs my arm as we drive. On the way home from the grocery store, I notice...........he is rubbing my under upper arm and it hits me.

" Are you touching my hot dogs?"

 ( I cannot even type that with a straight face and cannot believe that I am sharing this story)

To which he replies, "wah? what are  you talking about?" and it proceeds to lead to a funny conversation with him and the kids. You reap what you sow people, you reap what you sow!! I know Gram would be laughing and I am now motivated to get The Shake Weight or something.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"Cardboard splinter"

E wakes Marty and I up this morning. She is complaining about a splinter in her finger, since I am still groggy and tired, I don't bother to ask how she got it. She will not let us look at it, she will not let us touch it and she wants a bigger band aid that we don't have.

She was asking ( translate whining) for a bigger band aid a few minutes ago. We are going out and I told her we would get one.

Conner says, " You need to stop messing around with the wood." as I think, "What wood?" E then replies, " I wasn't touching wood. I was changing the toilet paper roll and got a cardboard splinter."

She got mad when I started laughing, she has a paper cut!!! She called it a "cardboard splinter" I took her in the bathroom, used gauze and medical tape to fashion a band aid.

She frequently laughs at Conner and his little quips. So I told her not to get mad when she says something cute and we laugh.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


We just need a lot of prayer. For sleep to come upon this household and for Marty to get the fluid off. He is on fluid overload and it just doesn't seem to be coming off anymore. It seems like since he went back to work, he is on fluid overload and nothing is coming off. I ran late on treatments yesterday and stayed up until 12:30, he woke me up at 3:00 to do his treatment before work.

Today we did all of our treatments on time but he was swollen. I got to bed by 11:00 but he woke me up at 12:30 ready to do a exchange. Now we are up at 3:50 to do another before work. We are worn out and tired, I feel bad not getting anything done during the day. Today is church day, I am so tired all I can think about is sleeping but we need to go.

Please pray for the transplant, pray for the fluid to drain off. Pray for patience for me, I am getting cranky and it is not Marty's fault at all. Pray for Marty, that he would have wisdom about work and taking time off. Also that he would feel well and get the treatments he needs to help him function.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Elizabeth,Conner and Lola

Elizabeth,Conner and Lola
Originally uploaded by jmtimms
Several years ago, I joined a missions group at our church. Most of the ladies in the group are over 70 years old. I love going and feeling like I am spending the day with my Grandma's. It was in this group, I met Lola who was a long time member of the group and church.

I quickly learned, sit by Lola because she makes lots of comments under her breath. She would often sit and make smart remarks on things she didn't agree with. She spoke her mind often and not so secretly. But, the under the breath comments were the best! You never needed to worry where you stood with her, she would tell you exactly where you stood. She never was one to hold back or pull punches. One time she lent the youth pastor her van, he brought it back in a state she deemed unacceptable to her standards. She called the church, the next time he brought it back........even the seat belts were laid out straight.

My kids started talking to her, because she drove a little coral Honda Civic with a HUGE stuffed pig in the trunk. Everywhere you went, you knew it was Lola's car by the pig in the back. I would often take the kids to the park across the street and we would see her speeding ( yes, she didn't drive slow) by waving wildly.

The year my grandparents died, the kids were studying community and family. They were supposed to write a report on family history but it was too painful for our family at the time. So we chose the community option. We needed to interview someone who grew up in our city and they chose Lola. She told them how people would celebrate weddings in Visalia( they would hold a "chivary" and run the groom to the Fox theater in a wheelbarrow) and all about growing up here.

This began a very close friendship between the three. We would often go to her house, sit outside and visit. One time, she gave me a Pepsi in a glass and washed my mouth out with soap at the same time. She had washed the glass but not quite rinsed it clean, it was soapy. I still laugh that she did that, unknowingly.....she would be one to wash my mouth out. She would tell us, " I will let you in but you better not tell the other ladies what my house looks like." Elizabeth loved that Lola collected stuffed animals just like her.

She was sharp witted, intelligent and the funniest person I have ever met in my life. The kids will cackle with stories of Lola.If we ever need a laugh, we will often start talking about her and we are sure to end up in hysterics.  One of their favorites stems from the same day as the Pepsi incident. We saw chicken feed on her front porch and asked her about it. She responded she had some chickens and wanted to get rid of them. She had caught a few but one large illusive rooster. She was going to trap it on her enclosed porch.

The next time we saw her, she proceeded to tell us that she not only caught it......but she drove it to the feed store, hanging the rooster out of  her car window by the feet while driving a stick shift! We never will look at a Rooster the same again.

Two summers ago, she had the first of many strokes. We would go spend Mondays with Lola at the nursing home and listen to her many stories. She loved seeing the kids and they had a mutual admiration society. The three of them were the best of friends.  Unfortunately, that ended six months ago and we could no longer go see her. The last time they saw her was the day of this picture on Easter Sunday.

Lola served God with all her heart. She taught Backyard Bible clubs every summer. She eventually built such a ministry she bought a little trailer to tow and travel teaching kids. She never gave up serving until last year and it broke her heart. She was patiently waiting for God to take her and prayed everyday for it to be the day. Last night, God was finally finished with her. What a homecoming that must have been for her.

Conner cried really hard this morning, but then told me, " God looked Lola in the eye today and told her well done good and faithful servant."

Elizabeth smiled and cried, she knew Lola was happy in heaven. She then started writing a blog, wanting to put some of her memories down for good.

When I talked to our friend Joyce, she said she was imaginging Lola up at a banquet with the Lord......refusing to eat his food ( she was not a big eater and being a depression child..hated waste of ANY kind.)

Today, our friend Rachel came to visit. I know God knew we would be sad today and need a distraction. As we were driving down the road, this song came on and I just saw Lola, she finally got to see Jesus today.

Lola was one of our hero's and one of the women I looked up to. I hope to be just like her and give our my life in service.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

" I've been waiting fourteen years for this day"

Fourteen and a half years I have waited for this day. 
One of the fondest memories I have of my wedding shower, was a gift you gave to me.  You wrote me a note and reminded me that,I was growing up.  Our childhood days have gone and now it is your turn to be the bride.  It has been years since we “put on” a show, played “When Johnny was dead” or Kids Incorporated.  Summers spent together, day in and day out, endless sleepovers and swimming until we were prunes.  Truly not many people know their cousins at all, not many people have cousins who are like sisters.  I am passing on this gift, from me to you, a little inside joke of sorts, maybe even a tradition from here forward.

Here is a little gift to remind you of our childhood days gone by. I may not be close by, but I am never far away.

I love you more than you may ever know, Jules

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

 We were driving down the road yesterday and this song came on the radio. Elizabeth told me to turn it up. We have heard this song 10,000 times already but I never had paid attention to the lyrics. When I started listening to the lyrics and thinking of our situation. It really spoke to my heart and thought it was something Marty should hear. He has been down lately and needed encouragement, he said he loved it because we were thinking of him.

How hard can it be?

This month held the birthday's of two of my closest friends. I got them cards to mail them, put them in my purse and went about finding stamps. I didn't want to buy stamps at Costco, who wants to spend 50 dollars on something they rarely use? Even if they are the "forever" stamps.

So I went to Wal-Mart ( I am sorry Di!) to get some and they were all out, no wonder Di tells us not to shop there. So I went to Savemart, they were all out! What is going on? a stamp shortage? a conspiracy against me? I don't know.

Finally this weekend, I went to Savemart again for other items. I figured it was a shot in the dark, but I asked for stamps. The girl gladly charged me for a book, opened her register and found............she was out of stamps! So she calls over to the checker next to her and informs her I need stamps. The next checker opens her till..............she was out of stamps. She passes me on to the checker next to her and she is too busy helping someone but calls someone out to get me stamps. He opens a register.............no till, no stamps. Finally on the last register, he pulls out my elusive book of stamps. I look at him and say, " it's a miracle!" and he gave me a dirty look.

I am convinced, even if I went to the post office itself, they would have been out of stamps!

Post note: So the cards are still in my purse and I am just going to hand deliver them this weekend. This also includes a Father's Day card for my Dad that I never mailed.