What Had Happened

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Hi, My name is Erica and I am a food addict.

I love good food. I love the company that comes with good food. I love happy people. People are happy when they eat good food. I love making people smile with my cooking.

You know, I knew all of this. I really KNEW it last month when I HAD to follow a restricted liquid only diet.  Here are a few things I pondered blending with chicken broth:

Chic fil a nuggets
Thin sliced pizza

By the end of the specified time I would have settled for a bacon bit on a crouton. It was rough, and man was it telling.

Last April my family doctor informed me (after several tests and even more different medicines) that my pancreas was overworking itself and would eventually give out. It may be five years or even ten, but it was inevitable. We started looking at my options... BECAUSE you can't live without your pancreas!

I needed to get the extra weight off FAST.

Countless hours in education seminars, libraries, online, and different doctors led  my family and I to deciding the best answer was surgery. A surgery known as Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy. It would be the second chance that I needed. For months, I've been preparing my heart for this surgery.

Not possible.

Last Tuesday as I sat there staring at my husbands tear filled eyes I almost got up off of the table. I doubted. Then my surgeon walked in and I expressed my doubt and nervousness. I like the guy. He's got a memory that is sharp as a tack and a Father who had this surgery. It's important to him. He reassured me he would take care of me. I also told him that if he messed up, he would be adopting 6 new kids. He was OK with that.

The anesthesiologist was the best of the best. I never met him. I think I should make him a casserole and drop it off at the hospital. I faintly remember them removing the breathing tube and cheering me on. I spent a little while giggling with the nurses that morning. They were good to me. In fact every soul from the ICU to the discharge nurse was kind to me. That's important.

The following hours after surgery were the worst hours of pain I have ever experienced and I had a morphine pump! At one point I grabbed my nurses arm and said "This has got to be the stupidest thing I have ever done in my life!"

If you know me personally,you know that is far from true.

Jesus was tempted with food. Did you know that? wild. (Luke 4) See to me that is completely amazing  the God I worship has felt my pain. When I'm struggling..I can be confident in His comfort. That is just as important.

I will end this week's blog with gratitude for all of you who prayed for me and my family. I felt every prayer and thought about them when I was wiping away the tears, with every push of morphine, with every painful lap around the ICU.

I am officially 1 week and 1 day out. I am slow as a turtle but I'm walking laps around my block. I am still on a liquid diet, but I am learning how to eat again. I am still in a lot of pain, but I am smiling.

And my friends, I am 24 pounds lighter today than I was just a few weeks ago.

I have been given a second chance, I'm so glad you're a part of it. I love you.

Keep praying for me.


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Every Sunday around dusk I slip out of the house just for a while to a little back road off post. I pull over, hop out of the car and sit on the old wooden fence post that defines the boundary of freedom to some of the most beautiful horses the Lord ever created. How funny, that such a simple ol' rickety piece of wood can contain such a tenacious creature.

My secret ritual began when I discovered that on Sundays here, there is a radio station that plays Bluegrass music- Gospel Bluegrass music. In a matter of moments, I'm in my Granny's living room floor running my hands through the bright red braided rug. Papa in his chair smiles, winks, and sings along. I can smell the biscuits and hear the laughter; both of which are rising in the kitchen. I loved Sundays when I was a child.

My love for food and fellowship stems largely from my childhood. It was glorious. The food still is. My Granny and Mama have taught me well in the kitchen and in the heart. When you think you're just making cornbread you're really learning how to dance or how it's always proper to write a hand written note; maybe you learn to care for the sick and sometimes how to gossip.

When you burn the cornbread, your learning how to curse.

And forgive.

But just like the horses in the field, there comes a day when we must realize boundaries in order to stay alive and well. Last April I began a journey of a thousand boards and nails building up my fence. It's time for me to get healthy. That would be the one thing I never learned in the kitchen.

Oh, my precious children!  I want to be around to teach each of them the essentials of making cornbread.

Am I strong enough to keep the limits placed before me?

I will fail.

I place my hope in the One who doesn't.

 Psalms 73:26 tells us that "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever"

Pray with me? For me?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BPoMIQHwpo ( one of my favorites, enjoy!)

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