CindyFrench-stranger than fiction stories

about facing life with hope and confidence, no matter the diagnosis

Archive for March, 2010

Bacon and Balsamic Glazed Sugar Snap Peas Recipe

Posted by cindyhfrench on 03/20/2010

I tried this last night-it was great-even to a husband who doesn’t like “interesting” things!

Ingredients:

1/4 lb of bacon.  (I used 4 slices)

1 1/2 cups of fresh sugar snap peas  ( I had a cup)

2 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar ( I used one+ a little)

1 tablespoon RAW sugar  ( I used 1 tbsp of splenda)

salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately

Cook minced bacon in a large skillet over  med hig heat until the fat has rendered out and the bacon has begun to crisp. About 5 min. Remove w/a slotted spoon and set aside. leave the bacon fat in the skillet.  Add the sugar snap peas, ande toss w/the fat.  Cook and stir until just cooked through, about 5 minutes.  Pour in the vinengar, sugar, and cooked bacon Continue cooking until the balamic  has reduced, and the sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper

Posted in bacon and balsemic glazed sugar snap peas, bankruptcy, brain tumor, christian, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, dural arteriovenous fistulas, gastrointestinal reflux disease, life stories, parietal foriminas, surviving major health issues | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Relief! Finally!

Posted by cindyhfrench on 03/20/2010

What a week! So busy with work-yeah! I do love what I do! Helping people find a new “best job”. Helping the client find someone who so “fits in”. I believe it’s a gift that God has given me! All along, I am often able to share Jesus’ story, because it is so much a part of me and what I do!

So this week on Wednesday, I had another nerve block for the occipital neuralgia. This time, I was given different drugs and it was so much better. Even the night time was better-which had so far been the worst time. It also has worked so far!! Very little headache, no dizziness. On Thursday, I went to the gastroenterologist for my biopsy results. Thank God, we had decided to check out the nausea, vomiting, and burning I had been having. This  was NOT related to my head! It seems that I had polyps in my throat and stomach. The biopsy said that I have ulcerated, inflamed tissue. Thank God, no cancer. Still, I will have to be checked once a year from now on.  Truly between the great nerve block and good biopsy, I have just been giddy with thanksgiving! Hopefully the worst is over now!!

So in looking back over the last six months, I can see how even with “rare”, physical issues, the hand of God was on my life. He had a neurosurgeon “standing by” with my first surgery. He gave me a wonderful scalp/skull surgeon for the 2nd surgery so that my head is not deformed after all the biopsies taken, He has given me new friends to call on, sympathize with, understand with. And finally, allowed me to see His love  through my Pastors and church family. He has shown me again His love and care even in providing my successful work, so that the bills can be paid. God is Great!!

Posted in brain tumor, cervical fusions, christian, dural arteriovenous fistulas, gastrointestinal reflux disease, life stories, occipital neuropathy, parietal foriminas, surviving major health issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

2005 A Year of Drastic Change

Posted by cindyhfrench on 03/06/2010

I mentioned in my last post that I had my last cervical fusion in 2005. It was August, I had produced enough sales in July and August to give me  great billings for a year that had been very slow and difficult so far. I was driving to Atlanta when my neurosurgeon called with my MRI results. For the first time in my dealings with him, he sounded anxious and concerned. I had a disk that had herniated into the spinal cord among other things. He told me not to lift a grandchild, or anything for that matter and to walk around like I was walking on eggs! If things got worse, I could have been paralyzed! Needless to say, I was really careful that weekend!

I came back home and began to plan for the surgery. I wasn’t particularly concerned. I HAD done this twice before! The great thing about this time was already having and working from a home office–frankly, I didn’t think I’d miss a step!

I really did fine with the surgery. I remember walking around the floor that first night,  but sometime during the night, I knew even as I lay asleep that I was in trouble! I couldn’t wake up! That was my last conscience thought for THREE days.

My husband found me not breathing the next morning. In a panic, he yelled for help, not remembering my living will-which was ok-but soon my room was filled with doctors and nurses and senior staff. They apparently tried a lot of things to get me to awaken once they had me breathing again. Nothing worked and I was moved to ICU. ( I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall during all this) At any rate, I spent three days on a narcaine drip, sound asleep. My husband said that they kept telling him they were doing everything possible.

When I awoke, I had been moved back to my room and to my surprise, I had no voice! Also trying to eat, I choked on everything, even liquids! Apparently I had suffered a stroke, had a paralyzed vocal cord and the little flap over my esophagus and trachea didn’t work right and so I was choking. Pretty quickly, the paralysis was diagnosed. I had a specialist who came in and showed me how to eat-with my head turned to my left shoulder and pulled down as low as I could. I could only handle soft things, or thickened liquids and I couldn’t call for help with no voice. They also hooked me up to all kinds of monitors that went off all the time, but no one ever checked. It was not a good time.

One would think I would be devastated, but honestly God was closer to me than almost any other time in my life. I have so much scripture underlined with margin notes of that time in the hospital. Nights were the worst. Dennis had to leave me to work and I couldn’t sleep much because of the meds I was on. The following are some of the scriptures and notes that I made and I cherish now.

First, there was confidence that I was going to be healed…I thought my neck…God knew my voice, mind, and eating abilities…Psalm 41:3  The Lord will sustain him on his sickbed and restore him from his bed of illness. Aug 8, 2005.

Also I had been praying for a real hunger for His Word and the next day, God gave me Psalm 42:1-2 As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you O God. My souls thirsts for God, for the Living God. When can I go and meet with God?…little did I know that soon I would be able to only do that!

The rest of the scriptures are pretty self-explanatory-night prayers, claims for my voice, worship.

Psalm 42:8 By day the Lord directs His love, at night His song is within me-a prayer to the God of my life.    11 Put your hope in God for I will yet praise HIm, my Saviour and my God.                                                                                                                                                                         Psalm 43:2-5  You are God my stronghold. Send forth you light and you truth , let them guide me let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place you where you dwell. Then will I go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the harp, O God, my God. Put your hope in God for will yet praise Him, my Saviour and my God.        

There are so many more-but I can not write them all here. But believe me, the Psalms are a great way to get to know God.

Posted in cervical fusions, christian, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, sleep apnea, surviving major health issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A Little Backwards…

Posted by cindyhfrench on 03/06/2010

In thinking back to previous years and incidents that have defined my life, I realize that I am either defined by the year’s medical crisis, a new baby, or God’s specific calling and teaching. The last specific time I wrote about was the neck surgery in 1995. I had another fusion in 1997 and again in 2005. I actually have really good motion for my head in spite of the fusions. Of course, I worked very hard in physical therapy. Again, I was working, leading a successful office for MRI. I loved what I did and felt such a responsibility-to my staff-to my clients-and to my candidates. Over the course of the 90’s I was very privileged to be in the top ten status with our company. I was very thankful as I did have different physical obstacles to overcome, but knew that they didn’t interfere with the business. On the other hand, what might we have accomplished without my constant medical crisis’?

 The next few years, I suffered my first serious asthma attack which I barely survived and an aspergillus fungus in my sinus that was slowly killing me! These are such weird, off the wall ailments. Then there was RSD (reflex sympathetic dystrophy) in my back and a strange infection in my breasts after having more reconstructive work done. I look back at all this and I am amazed:  1. that I kept having so much stuff happen to my body  2. that they were strange, unusual ailments  3. except for God’s intervention I wouldn’t be here today.

Posted in aspergillus fungus, asthma, cervical fusions, christian, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, life stories, surviving major health issues, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

And One More Thing!

Posted by cindyhfrench on 03/06/2010

Just when I thought I might be getting better–I’m not.  The last two days, I have worked-had full days as a matter of fact, but the headache is once again getting worse. I am back to 2 percocet at a time again and I am having breakthrough nausea even with the compezine. 

I went to the gastroenterologist this morning after a week of worsening heart burn. It has gotten down to where much of what I eat and drink burns me. The thought is that six months of daily vomiting could have damaged my existing hiatal hernia further or started an ulcer. I am scheduled for an endoscopy next week to see. In the meantime, I am taking another drug-this one for Reflux.

My asthma is better and I am tapering down my steroid dosage. Still, looking at my round face, I can tell the side effects! In three weeks, I’ll take the “gold standard for diabetes testing” so they can tell me I have diabetes! I mean it, have you every heard of anyone that had so much wrong with their body? I honestly don’t know if I am just wearing out my parts or if maybe something something so systemic-like diabetes-or my asthma-is the culprit! I guess I will be finding out!

All these feelings after such a precious time Wednesday night with my pastors! I did hope for an instant miracle, but I can see that this is not to be, at least for right now. Still as I re-read the devotional sent to me last year and which I saved, I continue to be reminded that God is not punishing me. I do believe He is using all this to prune me, but also to touch those others that come into my sphere who are also sufferning. Every day there is just one someone who needs to hear Jesus’ story and how it’s impacted my life and can impact them as well.

Posted in brain tumor, christian, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, diabetes, life stories, parietal foriminas, Suffering loss, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Anointing and Prayer

Posted by cindyhfrench on 03/04/2010

I guess it’s a terrible thing when we seem to go to God last for healing. I know I have certainly exhausted the circle of doctors, medical centers and the internet for help, treatment and information. I have prayed all along as have so many others been praying for me too, that I know we weren’t ignoring God or His Great Physician role, but I wasn’t exactly embracing it either.
So, today we got serious and with my pastors around me, they prayed specifically for my healing while anointing me with oil as it says to do in James 5:13-15 “Are you hurting? Pray. Do you feel great? Sing. Are you sick? Call the church leaders together to pray and anoint you with oil in the name of the Master (Jesus Christ). Believing prayer will heal you, and Jesus will put you on your feet. And if you’ve sinned, you’ll be forgiven-healed inside and out.” [The Message version]

We talked of how Jesus has used my infirmities of which there are so many-to connect with others suffering the same thing. I had just been praying to be stronger, thinking I could do more if I were stronger, but Pastor Craig pointed out that when I am weak, Jesus is strong! How could I ever forget that? Yet that wasn’t my focus-yes it was on me and how I felt. I am very tired of pain and nausea and very tired of being so tired! Sometimes I have to sleep most of a day just to keep up! I have certainly wondered to what purpose that was! However, I must acknowledge that when I have to take the time to sleep, God always seems to make up the time for me. Even today, working out of bed on my laptop and cell phone, I accomplished more than some days when I am in my office all day on the phone. So yes, I am blessed and humbled by His care for me even in the details.

I do know that God heals miraculously. He has healed me before as that was to His purpose. I hope it is again.

Posted in brain tumor, christian, chronic fatigue, Creativity, life stories, rheumatoid arthritis, surviving major health issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Great Fried Shrimp

Posted by cindyhfrench on 03/01/2010

I did friend shrimp recently and I think it was restaurant worthy! I think the difference is a double “breading” and using PANKO.

I simply soaked my cleaned shrimp in some lemon water for about 15 min. Then I shook them and put them in flour, covering them well. I shook them again and this time put them in a whipped raw egg, shook again and then dredged in PANKO. I then fried them in my Little Fry Baby.  Delicious!!

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SUNDAY, February 28, 2010

Posted by cindyhfrench on 03/01/2010

Hard to believe that February has come and gone without me writing a note! But it also shows that I have been really busy, trying to work, and when I wasn’t working, I was flat out! Praise God that I HAVE work to do!

I have to admit I haven’t been too good at the 2 hours up and 2 hours down thing. I get on a roll with my calls and I look up and 4 hours have passed and I am dying! Well, not literally, of course, but extreme fatigue and slowly but surely diminishing pain…at least that was true until last week, when things seem to be accelerating again! I still hurt a lot on the right side and it is smushy to the side of where they opened me up in December. Well, I do see the neuro Dr this week, I think. I know I can’t live on pills for the rest of my life! I did see where one doctor had referred to my problem as parietal foraminas. Wonder if that is a diagnosis?

But there have been really nice things happening. I am seeing people and continuing to share my faith and my life with those to whom I come in contact. Sometimes, I think I am continuing to suffer for the story God has given me. I love the people I am meeting and connecting with–sometimes it is a new family connection–my very wise sister-in-law for instance has had some major insight for me. Or my new friend, breast cancer buddy Alicia who calls me every 2 weeks. We only met for a few minutes in the doctor’s office, but she reached out to me for comfort and some insight as one who has been there. I plan to be there for her surgery this month. A new believer after our 2nd conversation, I only can praise the Lord God for His precious mercy and grace in allowing me to be a part of opening her eyes to Jesus!

I am also able to drive again. Yes, thank you Jesus-that is another “better”. Our GriefShare ministry has started up again. My precious husband has been driving me, but that will stop as again, thank you Jesus, he has a new job he is starting tomorrow!!!

God is so good. Just when you think you can’t go on anymore in your own strength, He calmly takes over and does more and better than you ever could! A wonderful lesson at church today from Colossians showed how very far I have yet to go. My BSF study in I John confirmed it for me this afternoon if I had any doubt!

Thank God, I believe He is coming soon! The earth is groaning even and ready for His Renewal. I am ready too.

Posted in brain tumor, christian, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, GriefShare, life stories, parietal foriminas, surviving major health issues | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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