Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What Have I Done for Someone Today?

I'm able to go to church now since my incision is almost healed and it doesn't hurt to sit up. I go just to Sacrament Meeting for now. The talks were wonderful. I especially loved Kim's inspiring talk about Pres. Monson's talk, What Have I Done for Someone Today? It gave me a lot to think about. I realized that I've been missing this in my life this past month. I've been recovering from surgery and haven't done much for others. Family and friends are serving me. Every day I get a call, a letter, an email, a package, lunch, dinner, flowers, house keepers {thanks D.A.}or a visit from one of my friends or ward family. It's really brightened up my days. I know it's one of the reasons I'm doing so well. I feel so loved. How can I be down or feel sorry for myself or situation when so many care about me and do so much for me? I can't. I felt a resolve to find someone to serve or do more for my family.

But after Sacrament meeting I headed to the grocery store. Yes, you heard me right. I was going to the store on the Sabbath. I know. I felt terrible about this. I can't even remember the last time I have been to the store on the Sabbath. A long time. And I can't believe that I'm actually writing this for my posterity to read 100 years from. I kept hoping that somebody out of the blue, possibly following a prompting, would call me and ask me if I needed croissant roll dough so I wouldn't have to break the Sabbath {you know? #4 of the 10 commandments}and go to the store to purchase the most important ingredient for this most delicious main dish. It's the one thing I forgot to get on my Saturday night run to Stater's. I'm making my family's favorite: Chicken Pillows {recipe to follow if you read this long post, it's like a little reward for enduring to the end} So in the store I went in my pink skirt and pink flats, looking really churchy. I told myself that I was only going in for the one item. But as I stood in line with my croissants roll dough I noticed that the candy bars were on sale, 2 for $1. And I felt prompted to get two. Yes, prompted!

There was just one person in line in front of me. It was an older woman who looked very stiff and down. I couldn't help over hearing part of their conversation. It sounded sad. So when the woman left with her groceries I asked the checker what was wrong. She and the bagger told me that when they wished her a Happy Valentine's Day, she commented that she's all alone. Her husband died last year and her son joined the army and is stationed in Afghanistan. Then the checker said the woman started to cry. Nobody gave her a hug or offered her any kind words. They just froze and took pity on her with no words of comfort. Poor lady.

As I walked out to my car I could see her pushing her cart to her car and wiping her tears. So I pulled out the candy bars {thankful for promptings} and went over to the woman and said that I was behind her in line and I gave her the candy bar and wished her a Happy Valentine's Day. She started to cry and gave me a hug. I started to cry. Not just for this woman but for being able to go to church and learn the things that Heavenly Father intends for us to know so that we can make it back to Him someday and to help others along the way.

So many have helped me in my time of need, especially this past month. Through their kind actions and loving words I have felt Heavenly Father's love for me and that has made all the difference.

We talked for some time in the parking lot. I learned a lot about Charlotte. I'm glad I had something to give her, chocolate, a hug, and a listening ear. In return I felt a little closer to my Savior.

Now, here's the recipe. Let me know if you try it.

Ricks College Chicken Pillows
4 – 6 cooked chicken breast
1 roll of refrigerated croissant dough rolls
Italian breadcrumbs
Dried or fresh herbs
Fresh garlic or garlic salt
8 oz cream cheese
1-cup sour cream
½ cup butter

First boil the chicken breast in little water for 20 minutes, cool, then chop up, set aside. In a bowl mix cream cheese, sour cream, chopped parsley or other herbs like thyme, press fresh garlic or sprinkle some garlic salt to taste, salt & pepper to taste, and ¼ of a cup of any cheese like cheddar, mozzarella, Parmesan. Mix in chicken. Roll out croissant dough one triangle at a time on a lightly floured surface until thin and big. Place spoonful of chicken in center of dough. Fold up, seal with water. Dip pillow in melted butter then in Italian breadcrumbs. Bake in oven at 350 for 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Introducing....The Yeti

My colon surgery was on a Friday. I finally woke up at 9pm that night crying in pain. Then the next few days I pushed a lovely button intermittently day and nights to follow and in between twilight sleep I would gaze up at the t.v. that was stationed on the National Geographic channel. It was a weekend marathon special about the Himalayans ever allusive creature, the Yeti. It caught my carefree attention. And after three days of watching bits and pieces of the show where the scientist were trying to prove the true existence of this legend, I began to hear the yeti moaning from the vent in my hospital, or was it the patient in the next room over??? I'll never know.

Then I was visited by special ilestomy nurse, Phyllis. She came in my room and taught me all about my new feature and accessory the stoma and the bag. The ideal stoma protrudes out about a half inch and the opening is right in the middle like a bulls eye. But to my disappointment I was not to be blessed with the perfect stoma or opening. As Phyllis examined the stoma she couldn't even find the opening at first. I knew it had to have an opening because stuff was coming out and dumping into the bag. "There it is tuck way low and aiming down. That's okay. We'll make it work. It's just a little shy one."

Then she told me that people name there stomas and I ought to think of a name for mine. One lady named hers Bling. She explained that the stoma gets kind of noisy at times. It's like having a whoopee cushion in my belly for people five feet around all to hear. The sounds only a six year boy laughs out loud about.

I sent John home for the night and I lay in my bed in the dark waiting for my sleeping medicine to kick in and I heard the sounds again. The yeti was calling.

When Phyllis came back the next day to check on me I could officially introduce her to my stoma, the Yeti, because it's a shy one that Yeti. It's true! The Yeti lives. And if you're lucky you might hear it if you come and visit me.

"...we really don't know what we believe or believe in until we're tested...Whether we like it or not our trials and struggles can tend to accelerate our push toward godliness." Sheri Dew, If Life were Easy it wouldn't be Hard

Friday, February 5, 2010


"All of us have problems. We face them every day. How grateful I am that we have difficult things to wrestle with. They keep us young, if that is possible. They keep us alive. They keep us going. They keep us humble. They pull us down to our knees to ask the God of heaven for help in solving them. Be grateful for your problems, and know that somehow there will come a solution." Pres. Hinckley quoted in Sheri Dew's book, If Life were easy it wouldn't be hard.

I can't believe it's been three weeks today since my surgery. I now have a bionic colon, or so my sister-in-law, Kristen says. It's not going to be functioning until the next surgery in April though. For now, I have something else... I'm amazed at the medical minds, our miraculous bodies, and our brilliant creator. For now I have an ileostomy. Click if you want to be amazed or bewildered. But don't click and then feel sorry for me. I did enough of that on my own. Last week while I was begrudgingly taking care of matters in the bathroom with it I finally straighten myself out and I refuse to feel like a freak any longer.

Why did I feel like a freak? Because I inherited F.A.P. and had hundreds of precancerous polyps in my colon, that's the big intestine. My gastro doc adamantly insisted that it needed to be taken out and thrown away. All 5 pounds and 4 feet of it. Meagan, the smart oldest child, asked, "Don't you need your colon?" A colon is nice to have, but apparently one can get through life without one. So temporarily, an ileostomy takes over the function of the bottom. And this is the really cool part. The stool that goes into the ileostomy bag from the small intestine doesn't smell like poop because when it goes into the colon {I don't have one of those anymore} is when it gets stinky because of the bacteria in the colon. So, I can say that my poop doesn't smell. Can you say that? I didn't think so. Who should feel sorry for whom?

While I lay for 6 days in my tiny hospital room I had a lot of tv time. Too much. I saw the coverage of the Haiti earthquake. Horrific and heartbreaking. I couldn't bear to watch it any longer. People suffering in every way possible. The hardest part was seeing critically injured people in pain with no relief of medicine. And I lay in my bed with a button in hand to push every ten minutes if my pain was too much to bear. So high as a kite I lie and prayed for the Haitians. Then my kite came down. I fell hard. Drugs were a blessing to me when I was in so much pain but coming off of them was emotional damning. And after a few days of that emotional roller coaster I felt like I had been pulled out of the Haiti earthquake rubble myself.

I have many to thank for rescuing me: understanding skilled nurses, loving husband, kind friends who visited and call daily, supportive and capable mother and father in law, sister's n law, thoughtful brothers and Arizona family, hundreds of acts of kindness from ward family, and home with my children.

There's no place like home.