Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Saturday, December 24, 2011
I have never been an athlete. I’ve never had much interest in sports, ever since I stopped playing touch-football with the boys. I tried tennis. I hit the ball too high, too long, and way over into left field. I’ve tried softball. I don’t know why it’s called “softball,” because it felt pretty hard when it hit me in the eye. I tried running, but I couldn’t get serious about it unless someone was chasing me. I tried swimming, but even though I float like a cork, and have had numerous lessons, I can’t seem to get over the idea, that I’m really going to drown. Finally, I settled on walking, and for a number of years, I walked three to five miles a day.
I’m never going to be an athlete, but I make do, especially in my mid-life years. Which brings a question to my mind. When did I hit mid-life? I remember that when I hit thirty, I thought my life was over. I remember my fortieth birthday, I was suddenly “over the hill.” However, it was at fifty that I began to discover “me.” I didn’t have to run, jump, play tennis, or prove myself in any athletic way. I could just “be.”
Fifty became the beginning of my age of enlightenment. I figured that as long as I was in fair health, I had another fifty or so years ahead of me. Then came the life threatening asthma attacks. A disease that had been merely an annoyance, was now in control of my life. Within months I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and arthritis. At fifty-five I found out about my diabetes, and I became fascinated with pharmaceuticals, hoping that they could give me quality of life.
One day, when I was least expecting it, I became free. I discovered that God had given me a priceless gift. Time. I began by noticing the sunsets, and I had the time to stop and really wonder, at the beauty and magnitude of it all. I moved on to the sunrises, and I quickly found out that if I wasted the early morning on self-pity, I missed the loveliest part of the day. I began to notice feelings of gratitude. I found myself with time to witness the changing of the seasons: that first whisper of spring, with its tender green shoots; the warmth of summer, with it’s flowers, bees and butterflies; the rustling of copper-colored leaves beneath my feet in the fall; and the hush of that first winter snow.
When illness would hit me, leaving me alone and housebound, I began to enjoy the solitude. I had time to reflect, gather my thoughts, and pray at leisure. I found that I was experiencing this mid-life season, and I was no longer missing every moment, shackled to the chains of worry and what might have been. Worrying about tomorrow only served to make me overlook the blessings of today.
It’s not always easy. A few loads of laundry and a pile of dishes can take an entire day; but then I don’t push myself much. I often neglect to make the bed, as I watch the rosy glow of dawn meet the rising sun. I have time to walk our wooded acre with my little dachshund straining at the leash. I read the signs with him, sniffing the air, and gazing out at whatever takes my fancy. I spend my time by studying the sky with the same intensity that my little dog studies the ground.
I get to meet the day, every day. I get to say good-night to the ever deepening sky. I’ve studied a lot of sunsets, in the last fifteen years, and I’ve never seen two that were exactly alike. I’ve learned to know my Creator as I never have before, and I’ve made my own mind up about the mysteries of life. I am quite certain that all of this creation is no mere accident.
I feed the birds, and I take great delight in their multicolored hues. I drag a chair to stand on, so that I can fill the feeders without help. I say a prayer as I struggle, thankful to be able to do something for someone besides myself. I often chuckle at all the pretensions of my former youth. I take great delight in my life. I thank God for all the precious little things of every day. It has take me many years, but I have finally come to understand what real health is. It is a health of the soul, and when I have real health, then I truly have everything.
© Jaye Lewis, 2000
With Love,Jaye Lewis
May God Grant You a New Year Filled With Happiness!!!!!
Posted by Jaye Lewis at 5:23 PM
Posted by Jaye Lewis at 12:17 PM
Tuesday, December 06, 2011
Posted by Jaye Lewis at 1:52 PM
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Posted by Jaye Lewis at 2:04 PM
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
We were living in a small trailer, and I was looking for a job while trying to convince my girls, and myself, that this was all an adventure.
My youngest child, Helen, was barely three years old, but from the beginning of her first lisped words, Helen seemed to have a sense of decency and wisdom way beyond her years. The children were all excited about Thanksgiving. The anticipated feast was all the girls talked about.
Two days before Thanksgiving, there was a flash fire in a nearby home, and a young family lost everything. The entire community became involved in the rescue of the couple and their young daughter. Shelter was donated by a church, and it seemed that everyone was involved in the collection of food, household items, bedding and clothes. I was thankful that even I was able to spare a few things.
Brigades of busy people willingly donated their time, as well as money. I was certain the tragedy was especially hard for the family this close to Thanksgiving, and I was grateful that someone was available to come to our house and pick up our donated items. Helen was very thoughtful for one so young, and I made myself a little crazy imagining what she must be thinking about the fire.
Finally, on the afternoon before Thanksgiving, two lovely women came to our house to collect our donations. How I wished I had more to give, I said, as I helped carry the donations out. They reassured me that the family would be well provided for. The girls and I stood outside chatting, as the ladies climbed back into their station wagon.
All of a sudden Helen shrieked, “ WAIT!! Don’t anybody move!” She streaked into the trailer door, crying aloud, “WE FORGOT SOMETHINGGGG!!!” I looked apologetically at the ladies, but before I could follow her, Helen was back outside, holding onto her favorite teddy bear, the bear that I had made for her birthday, just two months before. Helen held out the bear, her green eyes searching my face.
“Mommy,” Helen implored, “the little girl doesn’t have any toys. She needs this bear! I have to give it to her.” My heart quaked. I thought about the few toys Helen had and how many hours I had spent sewing that little bear. Now she wanted to give it away.
We stood in stunned silence, the ladies staring at me. I struggled with my feelings. All the love I’d put into that bear. All the things we needed and didn’t have. Surely Helen could find another toy. Then I stooped down to face Helen, who was still holding out the bear, worry lines creasing her little forehead. I searched her little heart shaped face, my fingers brushing aside her red-gold hair. My eyes filled as I realized that my heart would never be as big as the heart pounding in that little chest.
My voice broke, as I said, “Of course, Helen, you’re right. We forgot the toy. How thoughtful of you to remember.” Helen, grinning, handed over the beautiful bear.
When the ladies drove away, I took my little girl and held her close. For she had made our Thanksgiving, the richest Thanksgiving of all.
Posted by Jaye Lewis at 2:05 PM
Thursday, November 10, 2011
On this eve of Veterans' Day, 2011, I was just thinking. The child of another mother's heart is fighting over in a strange land, for people who hate us, and everything they think we stand for. At the Thanksgiving meal in 2001, a boy or a girl, eight or nine years old, was starry eyed thinking of future Christmas joys, although we were a country in mourning. They were children, after all, and children are God's messengers of hope for a better tomorrow.
Today, many of those same children are languishing in military hospitals, or lying in well kept cemeteries, and all their mother's hopes are dashed. Others are still fighting overseas, while mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, sweethearts, sons and daughters wait, praying that they will come home from their fifth tour, safe and sound. And then they pray that they will be home for good.
As a Veteran, my heart swells with pride, but as a mother, I weep. I shed tears as I did when my children were at death's door. I pray, as I prayed for them, as I prayed for my husband when he was out to sea. I weep for the mothers. I weep for all those who will not see another Thanksgiving. I weep for those who will be at the Thanksgiving table, only to return to duty and fight another day. I weep, and I pray that these awful wars will end, and each mother's child will come home safe and sound.
God help us! What are we doing over there?! If that thought doesn't make you shudder, because you have not walked the floor in agony, waiting for that next phone call to let you know that your son or daughter is alive and well, then take a look. We live in a precarious world. None of us are truly safe, except by the grace of God.
So, now I ask you, no matter your situation, no matter where your children are, stop now, and pray for their safety. Pray for them, for yourself, and for the mothers who are waiting for this world at war to be at peace. Pray for peace and safety, this night and tomorrow, and may God bring us all a lasting peace, for only He can.
Posted by Jaye Lewis at 6:09 PM
Friday, September 30, 2011
Posted by Jaye Lewis at 11:21 AM
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Posted by Jaye Lewis at 9:13 AM
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Sometimes it seems as though all hope is lost, and encouragement is a yesterday thing, especially for people with Type 2 diabetes and asthma. The asthma/diabetes connection is a subject that is rarely addressed by the medical community, because of an unwillingness or ignorance to acknowledge that Type 2 diabetes is often caused by the life saving asthma medicine prednisone. I am one of those lucky people who have prednisone induced Type 2 diabetes. However, there is hope, even for me.
Prednisone induced Type 2 diabetes is not as rare as many believe. One of prednisone's side effects is an elevation in blood sugar. If you are a diabetic, it can raise your blood sugar to life threatening levels. Most people who go on prednisone and experience higher blood sugar levels, find that their glucose returns to normal after their course of prednisone is over. However, for those of us who have a family history of diabetes, or who may be glucose intolerant or borderline diabetics, we will undoubtedly be thrown into full blown diabetes, which is a lifelong battle.
Now, how do I control my blood sugar while on the asthma necessity of prednisone? This is not medical advice. I am not an expert. I'm merely striving to survive myself. Here is what I've discovered works for me.
At the first sign of an imminent asthma attack, e.g. chest tightness, low peak flow, coughing up discolored phlegm in the morning, waking up with difficulty breathing, wheezing...you know those first symptoms...I immediately go on a low dose, seven day course of prednisone. Starting with 5 milligram tablets, on the first day, I take 6 tablets, which equals 30 mg. So, my tablet course goes like this: 6-5-4-4-3-2-1 and then I'm off of prednisone until the next time. This way, I stay off of antibiotics, and I do very well. My husband and I even celebrated our anniversary trip while I was on prednisone, and I had no problem. Other corticosteroids are not as effective as prednisone, and even the short course throws my sugar out of whack, so I'm sticking with prednisone.
Now, how do I control my blood sugar during this time? Well, first day, I go up on my Lantus insulin, 45 to 50 units, then during the day I check my blood sugar up to six times, and I portion my Glumetza out by halves or whole, as my blood sugar rises. I stick to a low carb diet, and when I can breathe pretty well, I get on my incline bike and do about 2 miles, if my blood sugar peaks dramatically. I keep checking my blood glucose to make sure that the exercise, or anything else, does not send me into hypoglycemia. This is not an easy process, in that there are many variables. If diet is not included, then this will not work. As I taper down on prednisone, I must taper down on insulin. I can have very low glucose numbers toward the end of the course, so I test immediately upon waking, and I keep my orange juice close.
I've never fully recovered from H1N1, and recently, due to low sodium, I was admitted to the hospital, through the emergency room in a semi-coma. As a result, I've had four of these low courses of prednisone in the last three months. Any illness can effect the diseases you already have, so make certain your doctor keeps up with your regular blood tests. Low sodium is a life threatening condition, especially for those of us over 65 crowd.
So, my friends, take care of yourself. If you are not getting the care that you need, change your doctor, or check with your hospital for diabetes programs. I'm certain that you will get real medical advice there.
I hope you will continue to diet, carefully, and even if you have gained more weight, as I did through the terrible time with H1N1, you can lose weight, healthfully again. I'm losing weight again, very slowly. Exercise is key, along with reasonable diet, and good check-ups. Diabetes is not a death sentence, and neither is the complication of asthma, if you are smart and know your diseases, and you follow a program. Remember, our lives are in God's hands, but He expects us to honor Him with our obedience in health.
Posted by Jaye Lewis at 1:39 PM
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Posted by Jaye Lewis at 12:38 PM
Monday, August 01, 2011
A Heart So Loved by Jaye Lewis
It was our second winter on the farm. I was a nineteen year old college drop-out, and the only one bringing home a paycheck. Even in 1965 fifty dollars a week did not stretch very far. Between my father’s unemployment and my meager salary, we could barely make our mortgage payments, utilities, and car payment. We struggled valiantly, and to tell you the truth, it was just plain hard.
Posted by Jaye Lewis at 3:53 PM