Sunday, June 27, 2010

Planting roots....

Well, today we walked down the aisle at church.
To join FBC Mt Pleasant.
We have been attending the church since we got here. We really liked it but didn't want to join until we knew where we were going to live.  Once we moved to our house, we tried the church that is right behind us, Trinity Baptist.  It was a nice church, friendly folks, but just not the church for us. Funny how the Holy Spirit leads you to certain places and not to others. 
The pastor at FBC Mt Pleasant is very good. He doesn't hold back at all as he shares the Bible with us. We are in a SS class with some great folks. Very kind. And it's funny how we have very similar stories of how God brought us all to where we are.  Don't know how long we will be in that class, though. I am sure Fred will be teaching soon. That's how it is. But hopefully we will develop some friendships while we are there.

I am still feeling like a wonderer in the desert. Kinda lost. I know this will pass. I need to get involved in the church, need to find a part time job (ugh). Getting these 2 things done will get me out there and meeting people. But why is that first step so hard to take?
I whine about not knowing anyone but I would rather stay in my little house and wait till Fred gets home.

Fred asked God to get us out of our 'comfort zone'. Well, he did. I am uncomfortable. Now, I know that is not necessarily a bad thing, but still......
Ok, as I read back on this, I sound like I am rambling. I better quit now while I am not too far out there.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Nassar Manor (formerly known as the haunted house)

I decided I shouldn't call Tom & Rachel's house 'haunted'. Didn't seem like a nice thing to do. :)
Tom has been working on the foundation of the house, supporting it and replacing where needed.
This is the living room. Tom found that there is water damage on the main wall. Will be replacing some of the wood...
windows in living room...
The kitchen, actually a good size...
Laundry area off kitchen
downstairs bath, pretty big too

some creative art work
this is a lamp hanging just under the stairs, pretty classic!

stairway to the upstairs room/loft
more of the room upstairs
this is a little closet/nook... perfect for a little girl's hideaway!!
Like I have said before, this is going to take A TON of work. But Tom really likes doing it himself and doesn't seem overwhelmed about it at all. These are the "Before" pictures, hopefully there will be "After" pictures soon!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Celiac Sprue

After being in the hospital since Saturday night, series of blood tests, Xrays, CT scans (3 of them), endoscopy and a colonoscopy, Fred has been diagnosed with having Celiac Sprue aka: Celiac Disease, Gluten Intolerance.
This really came out of left field. I mean, from the research we have done online, (and boy! is there tons of stuff online!)  this can come on at any age. But, still, Fred has never had any problems till last Wednesday, and he didn't have any of the other symptoms that comes with it.
Now, when we were told he needed a colonoscopy because the dr saw a 'bumpy' small intestine during the endoscopy, that scared me. BAD.  The word biopsy=possible cancer to me. When the dr talked to me and told me Fred had Celiac Sprue, I almost started laughing. It was such a relief that he didn't have cancer. (I specifically asked, had to hear the DR say no).
So, really, the news was good. And we are grateful. We are.

But now that we are home, looking at our cupboards and seeing that Fred can't eat most of the stuff we have, it's discouraging.  We start to have a pity party, how are we going to do this? why did this happen?

This morning, we headed to town. Fred wanted to go find a salad for lunch. We went to Chilis. He starts to look at the menu and checking off all he CAN'T have. So we start narrowing down things. We look at the salads. BBQ chicken. It looks good, but it has wonton chips. So we ask if they are corn or flour (can't have flour) The waitress said it was a mix, but it could be ordered just corn. So we do, but Fred is worried that they won't do it. Then, the manager comes and talks to us. Wants to let us know they will actually make a new batch of chips to make sure there is no cross contamination.  How cool is that??   So what I learned is that we just need to ask. If we aren't sure about a food, ask. If we need a substitute, ask. 

We then went to Walmart to read labels. That was not great either.  EVERYTHING has wheat. Goodness!

We found a small section in the baking isle that had specific 'gluten free' items. We got some of the things to try them out: pancake mix, cookies, hot breakfast cereal.  Hopefully they will taste ok.  There are a lot of websites that we can order from, and recipes all over the place to make things that we thought we would have to give up. For example, chocolate chip cookies.   It's going to take a little while, but we will figure it out. I have connected with a couple of folks that have the condition, and I will be picking their brains. I think it will be easier to learn from actual people going through it than websites.

We will get through this. And we will give God all the praise. I know this isn't just something that happened. God has a plan. We just don't know what that is yet. But we don't need to. We just need to trust.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The week's not over yet!

I was typing up the previous post on Friday, and saved it to come back to later....
Well, we found a car. A Toyota Corolla. It's a 2009 with no frills, but it's supposed to be good on gas,
and that is the most important thing.

That was Friday. Yesterday, Fred was still not feeling well. He was frustrated that he couldn't do the things that needed to be done (cut grass, start on his tower/antenna...) All he could do is take turns in different positions to feel better. Well, around 5pm, he got double-over pains again. I took him to our local ER and after waiting over an hour in terrible pain, they took him back. More blood work and xrays and CT scan.... This time the CT scan found something. According to the radiologist, he has "arteritis" of the bowel.
I am getting educated in the vascular system:  The aorta is the main artery that runs through the body. It has "branches" that feed the organs blood and oxygen. Well, the one to his bowel is 'inflamed'. Mt Pleasant does not have a specialist on this (the ER dr said he had never seen this before) so they transfered Fred via ambulance to a hospital in Tyler. The ER dr there said he had never seen this before either. Great, Fred is unique!  haha
We are now in a room at the hospital waiting for the vascular surgeon.  Fred is on pain meds and resting. But I wish we could find out what the plan is to make him better. It's frustrating NOT knowing....

So, going thru all this, I start thinking how much easier this would be if we were back in Fl with all our friends' support. And I start to question what we are doing here.  But, I can't do that. All along, we have felt a peace that this is where God wanted us. And having his brother Tom close by is a help. He came over and drove me to Tyler while Rachel spent the night at the house in case mom woke and was wondering what was going on. They have been a blessing.

God is in control. He knows our needs. I have to remember that and put Fred in His hands.

Interesting week....

Last Thursday, it was time to bring Fred's tower home. I met him at Tom's house with my car to attach the trailer. I would follow Fred home in his truck. Well, maybe 2 miles into the trip, Fred's truck stalls. just stops. I pull over, he finds a place to turn around. and 2 1/2 hours later, AAA tows the truck home for us. 
We  take the truck into the shop on Friday, get word that the timing chain broke.(we figured that) Getting it fixed. $500.  Get word on Saturday that there is still something wrong. Needs a new engine. They will look around to see how much it will cost. Now, this is a 1996 Isuzu.  Call back it's going to be over $3000. Sorry, the truck is not worth that. We will come and get it and start shopping for a used car. 
Plan was to get the truck home on Wednesday. But plans are made to be changed, right? 
I get a call from Fred. "now, don't freak out, but I am in the ER in Texarkana". NOT a good way to start a conversation with your wife.  He was at work when he got hit with severe abdominal pains.  About 5 hours and tests later, they send him home not sure of what is causing it, except they ruled out a bunch of stuff. So we know what he DOESN'T have.  Oh, and since his truck was in the shop, he was driving my car to work. I had to wait for Rachel to get off work and drive me to Texarkana, which is 1 hour away. ugh!
After he was released, we went to the base and jumped through hoops with the front gate so he could get the car. All this in a 6 day span.  And I thought things were going to be quiet once we settled here....
BUT God is faithful. He is going to get us through all this yuck. Fred is still not back to normal. He was having pains still yesterday, but hopefully the medicine he's on will get him better. We are supposed to go look for a car today. Fred HATES shopping for a vehicle, so it's not going to be a fun experience. 
We have money in savings (our 6months emergency fund) that we are going to use, so hopefully offering cash will get us a good deal. But the fact we are depleting the account has Fred stressed. So, guess who is going to look for a job sooner than she thought?  :)
So the prayer request is that I will find something that won't be too much time restraining, as I have mom to take care of.  I am her only transportation right now since we don't know anyone here yet.