Saturday, September 25, 2010

What Constitutes Courage?

UPDATE: As of February 19, 2011, she has lost a total of 144 pounds, which officially puts her at a Body Mass Index (BMI) that qualifies her to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. While this is one of her goals, she is still working on the ultimate goal in order to live a long healthy life. WE ARE EXTREMELY PROUD OF HER!



Courage is a lot of things. We talk about soldiers being courageous. We talk about cancer survivors being courageous. We've all seen videos of courageous people who have fought against the odds to do great things with their lives, and we applaud their courage. Courage comes in many forms, and means many things to many people.

Today I'd like to tell you about someone very close to me who is very courageous--my youngest child. I received her permission to tell you her story. My daughter weighed 10 pounds when she was born, and life has not been easy. She has always been overweight. It was years before someone could put a name to it, but they finally discovered she has polycystic ovarian syndrome. It is incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to raise an overweight child keeping self-esteem in tact. Our first priority was to make sure that she became a person who knew who she was on the inside. We walked a tightrope continually, trying to keep her weight down while letting her know that we loved her both inside and out.

She's a 20-year-old adult now. The last 15 months, she has worked very hard to lose the weight that she's been gaining her entire life. In the last 15 months, she has lost 122.2 pounds, and is still dropping. That's courage! That's intestinal fortitude!

She has learned what she must do to become healthy and stay healthy. She's learned how to adjust her eating habits, her exercise program, and her life habits to keep her strong. She has learned skills that will assure her a happy life. That's courage!

We're very proud of her! We've always been proud of her! She is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. When I grow up, I want to be just like my youngest daughter.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Dancing in the Night

As I sit here staring at the computer screen wondering why it appears so bright, I realize it might have something to do with night dancing. Let me give you a little background prior to last night's "dance."

My husband was diagnosed with sleep apnea at least 20 years ago, but the CPAP machine that was prescribed to help him breathe was a total disaster. In order to give him enough air, the CPAP machine would have to be turned up to the equivalent of driving down the highway at 70 mph with his head stuck out the window. We gave up, bought him an expensive recliner, and we learned how to play musical chairs all night. We began the night dance from bed, to chairs, to bed again. When diabetes was later diagnosed, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise because with the loss of weight, the sleep apnea is much better. However, he still finds the recliner in the middle of the night.

I began choking in my sleep a number of years ago. Apparently, I produce an inordinate amount of saliva in my sleep. Choking wakes me up, but then my throat burns for a long time afterward. The only thing that will alleviate the burning is drinking water, and sleeping upright in my recliner. This problem is coupled with the fact that I don't sleep well when it's hot. On the hottest summer nights, I've been found sleeping on the family room floor in front of an open sliding glass door, or even on a cushion on the back step.

So, last night . . .

It had been a pretty hectic day at work, but it is Danny's birthday weekend, so I stifled the urge to come home from work and crash, and the two of us went to a nice dinner alone, and then for a little ride. Unfortunately, the chaos of my day carried over into the evening, and I found myself wide awake until 1:30 a.m. I had no sooner drifted off on my pillow until I was awake choking. Fortunately, the burning in my throat was not as bad as it usually is, and I decided that instead of going to my chair, I would crash on the family room floor because it was hot. Danny came to check on me, and then cozied up to his recliner. Normally, I give myself a little more room in front of the door, but Kaylonnie had a jigsaw puzzle on the card table. I didn't want to put the card table close enough to Danny's chair that he might trip on it in the middle of the night. So I snuggled right in front of the door next to the china cabinet.

I was just beginning to drift off, when I was startled by dog whiskers in my face. I raised up and hit the back of my head hard against the bottom corner of the china cabinet. I moved a few inches away from the china cabinet, which was a good thing, since the dog whiskers appeared in my face periodically for the balance of the night. I appreciate the fact that Oreo loves me enough to check up on me in the middle of the night after I've choked and moved to the floor, but does he have to get right in my face??!!!

It was about 5:30 a.m. when I returned to the bed for two more hours before my day officially began. So here it is, after 11:00 p.m., my head is pounding, my eyes are throbbing, and I'm thinking -- am I ready for another dance?