Sunday, March 22, 2009


After what seemed like forever trying to get arrangements made with the financial counselors at a particular hospital (because I'm without insurance currently), my health clinic and the lymphedema clinic, I was finally able to get an appointment. Sarah and I went to the Lymphedema Clinic this past Thursday.

The occupational therapist (OT) asked me a few questions about my arm to start things off. In very little time she stated that I pretty conclusively have lymphedema. To know for certain if it is lymphedema versus another time of edema - a.k.a. swelling - I would have to have an expensive test done where they inject dye into my arm and measure the uptake of the dye by my lymphnodes and all of that. Regardless of whether it is general edema or lymphedema, though, the treatment is the same. The OT said that I likely have primary lymphedema which means that I got it genetically. This surprises me because I don't know of any family members who had it other than my dad, but his was from cancer in his lymphnodes so his was technically lymphoma.

I begin treatment tomorrow. I am scheduled to have treatment every morning this week. Kim, my OT, does not think I will need all 5 days, but we scheduled it just in case. Kim's pretty certain that she can get my left arm back to its original size. On Thursday, my left arm was about 1.5 inches larger in circumference than my right arm (which is my dominant arm). The treatment is called Complex Decongestive Therapy (CDT). It is basically the manual moving of the fluids from the extremity with unhealthy lymphnodes to other extremities. So, beginning tomorrow, Kim will push the fluid from my left arm toward my right arm and left leg. The fluid should then be processed properly there and no swelling persist, ideally. After she finishes the treatment tomorrow, I'll have to wear bandages on my arm until the treatment Tuesday and that pattern repeats all week. Once treatment is finished I'm pretty much set. I will learn techniques to perform "self maintenance" on keeping the fluid down in my left arm. I am to go see Kim after treatment is concluded if the swelling continues and persists for more than 2 weeks. So basically: I do this treatment this week and just go in for tune ups when I need them.

There are a few life changes that will have to come with this. One is knowing and dealing with the fact that I'm not invincible. Lymphedema is not curable, but it is treatable. Another change is that I will likely have to wear a compression garment when engaging in physical activity. A final change will be making healthier lifestyle choices. I will need to exercise more regularly (with my compression garments), eat foods that are low in fat and salt, and practicing meticulous watchfulness over my left arm including heightened skin care and steering clear of scratches, bug bites, needle pricks, etc. (these last ones are all due to the greater possibility of infection because of the lymph build up in that arm.)

So yeah. That's me right now. My wife and I are dealing with it and doing okay. I'm a little better than she is. Pray for her. Pray for me. Pray for us. Whatever the outcome of this, to God be the glory. He will work this out for good. I believe it, and I'm expecting it, and I'm naming it, and I'm claiming it, and I'm planting my seed, and I'm Benny Hinn-ing yeah. We're covered.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


I'm pretty sure this song lights my hair follicles on fire it makes me so angry. This is NOT what God should be making us look like. Oh, I'm hot...and not like Mary, Mary's talking about.

I just wanna tell the truth mayne (5x)
Verse 1: Your so fly your so high
Everbody around you trying to figure out why
Your so cool your win all the time
Everywhere you go man you get a lot of shine
You draw like a magnet better yet I have it
Everything you wear people say they got have it
From the sweat suit to the white tee to the gucci
You can probably say people wanna get like me

Hook: But what they don't know is when you go home
And get behind closed doors man you hit the floor
And what they can't see is your on your knees
So the next time you get it just tell em

Chorus:It's the God in me (5x)
You think I'm so fresh you think I'm so clean
You think I'm so sweet
It's the God in me
Kiki:What is it you think you see

Verse 2: You see her style you think she nice
You look at her whip you say the whip tight
You look at her crib you thinks she's paid
You look at her life you think she's got it made
But everything she's got the girl's been given
She calls it a blessing but you call it living
When it comes to money she can be a hero
She writes them cheacks with a whole lot of zeros

Hook: But what they don't know is when you go home
And get behind closed doors man you hit the floor
And what they can't see is your on your knees
If you ask her she'll tell you

Chorus: It's the God in me (5x)
You think I'm so fresh you think I'm so clean
You think I'm so sweet It's the God in me
Kiki:What is it you think you see

Kiki: What is it you think you see
When you see me, you see me
You don't know how much I pray
Don't know how much I gave
Don't know how much I changed
I'm just tryna explain

Chorus:It's the God in me (5x)
You think I'm so fresh you think I'm so clean
You think I'm so sweet
It's the God in me
Kiki:What is it you think you see

.....Gag me with a stick.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

City-Wide Garage Sales

Well ladies and gents, it is especially that time of year when the air begins to warm and the anxious buds on the trees and flowers begin to pry open with a real freshness and life. That's how garage sales make me feel!....Ok, not really, but I REALLY love garage sales.

One of my favorite memories of living in Bolivar, MO (fill in the town and state with your own applicable small town experiences) was the city-wide garage sale weekend. Holy smokes we would tear that town up! Never throughout the year would so many poor and sleep deprived college students drag themselves out of bed to become a part of the community for, very possibly, one of the first times. That's what I loved. Pretense disappears at garage sales. You meet "real" people. People smack dab in the middle of life and you get to walk up and join them where they are with both people having something to offer the other and the potential of a connection being made. Maybe it's not the complex or meaningful for most, but it is for me. I feel a part of something when I go garage selling, and it's not the greedy flea market vendors who rape people of some of their best products to traffick the products off to others. Sick.

With that anecdote in mind, what is one of your favorite small town memories?

*Note* It is not politically correct to use the verb "gyp" when referring to get someone to lower his or her price. The word is derived from the noun gypsy and can be taken derrogatorily. It is more appropriate to use the verbs "haggle" or "bargain." :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tony Horton, show me love, baby!

<------ This man right here, my friends, is about to rock our family's house straight to the ground. Then he's going to gingerly pick us up and put us in bodies that are healthy with clothes that don't bulge...where we don't want them to, that is. ;)
If you have never watched the P90X infomercial. YOU SHOULD!!! As an avid infomercial watcher and self-proclaimed connoisseur, I say that this product will be amazing and my abs will be also. Can my wife and I commit 60 minutes a day to this? We must, that's all I have to say.
Oh, and I just bought a book titled, "Eat More Weigh Less." It was written by Dean Ornish who speaks about the prevention and reversal of cardiovascular disease and altering one's genes through modified diet and exercise. Yeah, it should be good.
What are you doing to improve your health these days? I wanna know.