Sunday, January 13, 2008

Look what fell out of his tree for me -- ha, ha

I found this picture taken on October 30, 2007 and had to share it. Ain't he cute? :-)

Alan is my very best friend on this earth. Ladies, look beyond your man's faults and remember what made you fall in love with him in the first place. I am a blessed woman indeed, to have such a sweet man who truly wants to live for Jesus!

Random Pictures from the Past Month

Midnight Photoshoot of my fun, seventy-degree day's painting of the bird feeder in January. I think I have Spring Fever (I just can't get rid of sickness-HA!)

Kitchen Decor for Thanksgiving Day

My Darling Hubby Enjoying the Snowblower in Early December!!!

I hope you enjoyed these little "peeks" into our life outside of sickbed stories. I will have more pics from Christmas soon! In the meantime, have a great week and remember Jesus loves you. LOL!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


Hello Everyone,

It is with humble apologies and regret that I wish you all an extremely belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I have a very valid excuse though -- sickness :-(

It all started on Thanksgiving Day: Alan was burning with fever, shaking with chills, and had no appetite for all of my experimental dishes. The flu caught him in its evil grasp and held him there for several days. Then things got better .... for a while, that is.

December 4: We hauled out the artificial tree which we bought on our first Christmas together, had Alan's parents up to our place and proceeded to have merry time, complete with sounds of my eccentric hobby, old L.P. Christmas records, blaring in the background. Alan sorted branches, put lights on each layer of branches and topped it off with the shining star! Emily almost exploded with excitement when we plugged in the star! We stopped for cheese ball and crackers, pie, and punch. I noticed that I was feeling a little strange but thought it was only tiredness from all the excitement.

December 5: I was meeting with one of the dear ladies of the church to plan our Christmas Candlelight Service for December 23rd. It was snowing like it would never get another chance to do so. But, I told her to come over anyway. By this time I had a cough and was aching all over. I blamed the snow. By the time she left, I was so dizzy and miserable, that I knew Alan's "plague" had caught up with me. That was the beginning of the END of all my holiday plans and dreams in our new place. From that point on, I lay on the couch for days on end getting progressively worse. I missed church on Sundays the 9th and 16th. We were joining another church for a cantata on the night of the 16th. I had instigated the whole thing from our end, then could not be there. My precious husband called and put the cell on speaker phone so I enjoyed the choir from afar while lying on the bed gasping for breath.

I went to a clinic, saw a doctor whom I was later told, "If you want to die, go to him!" Nothing like that to encourage an already ill person! Given what I believe to be a false diagnosis of asthmatic bronchitis, I returned home with a prescription I was later told by another physician is not effective in treating either bronchitis OR pnuemonia. By the grace of God, I pulled on every inner resource and help from above to participate in our Christmas Candlelight Service on December 23. Then returned to my sickbed to wallow in misery.

Again, I pulled out the stops and got food and our house ready for company on Christmas Day and enjoyed the fellowship of Alan's family and a dear friend of our family. As soon as the excitement was over, I was right back in bed, miserable, coughing, wheezing, and sooooo very weak. The weakness is what frightened me. I just could not seem to overcome this terrible shakiness and lack of "get-up-and-go."

Then, Thursday night after Christmas, Alan was not feeling well. He had tried a new sub at Arby's that day, so I chalked it up to food poisoning. NOT!! Around 2 a.m., I had done all I felt that I could do to make him comfortable and left him lying on the couch by the tree. Do not ask me why, but we are always on the couch when we get sick. Anyway, I toddled upstairs and had just lowered myself into bed when I heard a sound downstairs that made my heart "sink down amongst my liver and lights" to quote Mark Twain. Yep! My good old sweet teddy bear husband who has NEVER been sick in this way in all of our seven years of marriage, gave in to the virus which was stalking everyone in our local area.

So, I did my loving, wifely duty and joined him in sympathy/empathy. HA! Anyway, I doctored him all day Friday and Saturday. Saturday night around 11:50, Emily was in bed by Alan when again, I heard the dreadful "SOUND" Now, SHE had it. This went on every five minutes until three o'clock at which time we loaded her into the van and drove her to the best hospital around. They took one look at her and hooked her up to I.V.'s to get her hydrated again. Finally, around 7:30 Sunday morning we were released to go home. Alan and I had not slept for 36 hours, so we did not get to church that morning. The deacons took over for us.

Monday, December 31, 2007: I thought, "Well, maybe we can start the New Year well -- literally." Then, at 2 p.m. in the afternoon, the dread bug landed on me like I have not had in years, if ever. By eleven-thirty that night I was completely dehydrated and beginning to lose consciousness. I told Alan, "If you don't get me to the hospital, I am going to die!" And, I was not playing when I said it. As the New Year rang in, Alan was roaring up to the same hospital that we took Emily to. They looked at me and rushed me straight back, planted an I.V. in and started fluids. By 6 a.m., I was more alert, eating ice chips and thought, "Yeah! Now I get to go home!" NOT!! Just as the nurse brought the release papers through the door, I lost it again. The doctor came in and said, "Mr. Christner, take your little girl home and get some rest. We have had your wife here for six hours and she's is still getting desparately sick. We're keeping her!" OH JOY!!

Shortly after I was settled into a room and Alan had left, I heard two Code Blue's for the floor I was on. Later, at shift change two nurses were talking outside my door. The departing nurse said, "Yeah, we revived the one patient. She's in I.C.U. now. Heart failure" The incoming replied, "What about the other?" D.Nurse, "Oh, she didn't make it. Only in her 50's. tsk tsk" Incoming: "What'd she have?" D.Nurse: "Oh, same thing as 16 here." Incoming: "Well, let's hope we don't lose them on my shift!" Laughter and walking away. A quick check on my part revealed that I was ROOM 16!!!!!! AAAAAUUUUGGGHHH!!

I was not allowed any fluid or food for 24 hours except that delicious chalk drink that is required for a CAT Scan!! YIPEE!! When I went for an X-ray, the lady walked over after taking pics and asked solemnly, "Is there any history of cancer in your family?" ME: "My mother died of pancreatic cancer in March 2006" (Did I mention that they were doing x-rays of my left side?) X-ray lady (with serious, pitying looks): "I SEE!" And that was all she said. I was wheeled back to my room, where two minutes later a lady walked in with papers for a living will. I thought, "Dear me, this is worse than I thought." I expected to see hospice reps. coming in next!!!!

January 2nd, 2008: MY 30TH BIRTHDAY!! I got to go home! WHEE!! I celebrated my third decade on this old planet with a cup of lemon-lime gatorade and a massive headache!

Can I end this sickbed and hospital tale with this: Through every moment of misery, fever, coughing, and hospital terror, I had the presence of Jesus Christ by my side, and while my celebrations were muted at best, I experienced the Christ of Christmas in a way that I have never before experienced. I did not have a rolicking birthday party, but one good thing was that I WAS too sick to care about hitting the big 30. From this literal, near death experience, I learned that every day is a gift to be enjoyed to the fullest whether you are 3, 30, or 300! I know this was long, but I had to tell my tale of woe! HA! More to come later--all in a cheerful, on the road to recovery and wellness way. I am finally on the mend and praising God for every moment of energy and strength that is returning to me!

Love to all, Jennifer