Friday, July 31, 2009

NOT a good day

You know it's going to be a rough day when you wake up with a ripping migraine. Of course, I can't remember if I took my meds last night, which doesn't help. Neither does sitting in a store FILLED with flouresent lighting.

What's a girl to do? Why, wear sunglasses indoors, of course!

But there's a lot more going on than just a migraine. Stress isn't helping out either. I'm trying to figure out the 'whys' to my current situation, but - as always - I can't seem to quite make out what God has in store for me.

I'm tired, miserable & in a lot of pain. I'm ready to just crawl back into bed & have a do-over.

What Bible verse just popped into my head? "I can do all things though Him who strenghtens me" ~ Phillipians 4:13. I need His strength. I need to just give it to God and let Him take command.

Though the Starbucks surprise that Craig & the kids brought helped a bit.

Many blessings,

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Diary of a human pin cushion

Today's the day of my allergy testing. Honestly, it's not as bad as I thought it was going to be. Right now, I'm only being tested for a Brie allergy - which required me to take a quick trip to my local supermarket in the middle of my appointment to pick up the potential offender.

If you have never undergone allergy testing, be VERY thankful. First, they give you a histamine prick, then its a histamine ID. For the Brie test, the mixed some of the Brie with something else to create a paste & added that to the skin. YUMMY - huh?

What have I learned so far? I'm probably NOT allergic to Brie - which makes this cheese lover VERY happy!

For now, I'm sitting in an exam room, eating as much Brie as I want & waiting to swell up like a balloon.

**UPDATE** Dr. R just came in. Looks like we'll be running MORE allergy tests for other culprits.

**2nd UPDATE** After over 150 needles & pin pricks we finally have an allergy winner (I also decided to use this to have a contest. Person who could guess my allergy wins an autographed copy of one of my favorite books). My arms look like I've been shootin' up all day!! Thank goodness I didn't get pulled over on the way home - "Seriously officer. I just had allergy testing done."

The winning allergy: HOUSEHOLD DUST
The book winner: GAIL STORY ROBERTS
The book title: 'In The Shadow of Lions' by Ginger Garrett

So, there we have it.. Dust.

Dr. F's conclusion is that we still do not know what caused my severe reaction back in April, but we know it wasn't Brie. For now, use a nasal spray, antihistamine & carry the EpiPen for good luck.

What was the cause of my anaphylaxis back in April? You're guess is as good as mine & Dr. F's.

Many blessings,

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A day of praise!

While I truly believe that we should praise our heavenly Father EVERY day, today He gets some extra praise! He is working miracles in people's lives and I cannot stop singing His praise.

MckMama & Stellan - Stellan still needs to be airlifted to Boston for his ablation, however the doctors have been able to get him to a point where it is not so critical. Yesterday, he celebrated his 9-month birthday... while he was in the hospital, it is still a miracle that he has survived this long given his original prognosis 18 months ago. Continue to pray for Stellan & his family; he's not out of the woods yet, but you can certainly see God working through this little man.

Stephanie, Scotlon & Alaina - I got a surprise phone call from Stephanie yesterday that warmed my heart. Alaina is breathing on her own now - NO oxygen needed except for what she takes in through her little mouth/lungs! She's still in the hospital, as they need to ween her off of her feeding tube. The prayer is that she starts getting the hang of feeding (either breast or bottle) so that she can FINALLY come home with her parents. But, again, God is working in this princess.

Me - Every day God gives me a clearer picture of His current plan for me. I still struggle with my 'break up' but everyday God gives me a peace about it. He has renewed my marriage, blessed us with a wonderful circle of friends to do life with and united our families. There are still a bunch of things on the horizon for us, but we have faith that God will continue to see us through.

Please leave a comment & share your praise. I would LOVE to celebrate with you.

Many blessings,

Monday, July 27, 2009


My heart is breaking as I type this entry. While my family is celebrating the great news of me being cancer free, Stephanie & Scotlon look forward to the day Alaina can come home, my online friend, MckMama is begging God for her son's life.

Several times over the past few months, I have asked you to pray for Stellan, a sweet baby boy who is suffering from SVT (Supraventricular Tachycardia). For the past 3 days, Stellan's baby heart has been beating at a dangerous 230 BPM!!! His doctors, both in the Frozen Tundra AND in Boston, are at a loss as to what to do next. Their only option - life flight him to Boston so that he can undergo ANOTHER ablation. They were hoping to not have to perform this surgery AGAIN until he was 4 years old, but the time has come. Stellan is in the 7th hour.

Friends, I am asking for you to join me & probably MILLIONS from around the world to pray for a miracle for this family & their beloved Stellan. While we have NO doubt that our God is an AWESOME God and can perform miracles, the family is simply asking that Stellan survive the surgery and live life with only a pacemaker.

A year ago, MckMama was pregnant with Stellan who was battling SVT in utereo. She was on bed rest being pumped full of drugs to save her unborn child's life. Now, the roles are reversed. Jennifer (aka MckMama) can only sit by and hold her precious child as HE is pumped full of drugs to try to save his life - or at least prolong it until he can reach Boston for the surgery.

Spread this story to everyone you know!! Jennifer refers to her blog readers as her 'prayer warriors'. Join me in being their prayer warrior for Stellan.

Many blessings,

Saturday, July 25, 2009

On the right track

You know, as a parent, you're on the right track raising your kids when your 9-year old son calls from a friend's sleepover birthday party to ask if he's allowed to watch a particular movie.
Granted, while he was visiting my mother, everyone was watching 'The Dark Knight' and he told them he wasn't allowed to watch it. But to maybe have to take a stand while at a friend's house - WOW!

I think most kids would have watched the movie and THEN told Mom & Dad. Not my kid! He called to make sure it was alright... To me, that says he's listening.

I'm so proud of him!!!

Many blessings,
P.S. ~ we did let him watch the movie at his friend's

Friday, July 24, 2009

The update post

PRAISE GOD!!! That's the only 2 words that I can come up with that fully describe just how good He is.

Yesterday's procedure went well. My friend, Kristin, was sweet enough to be my designated driver – since I was considered to be 'under the influence' for the entire day. Conveniently enough, we both wore the same color shirt – good thing she got the memo. Hahahaha!!!

Because my veins like to cooperate – HA! - it only took FOUR tries to put the IV in. Thankfully the nurses use lidocaine to numb the area BEFORE putting in the IV. My right arm looks like I've been shooting up heroin (I watch Intervention) and my right hand looks like I've been in a fist fight – they blew a vein and now the knuckles are all black & blue.

Right before they put me under, they asked me if there was anything I would like to say to the doctor before I went to sleep. My brain was screaming to say 'God bless you', but being that he was middle eastern (and in charge of sticking a camera down my throat) and figured I would hold off. Instead, I prayed silently.

I am still awaiting the results of my biopsy, however I did get the WONDERFUL news that I do not have Barrett's Esophagus or Esophageal Cancer. Right now we're continuing with the GERD diagnosis until I go to the allergist next Thursday.

The 2nd update that I want to give you is on Alaina. If you haven't been checking Stephanie's blog, then you are MISSING out!! Alaina is a feisty little stinker just like her mother. God continues to heal this little girl and it sounds like she will be able to go home in about 2 weeks. Thank you for all of the prayers. While Alaina still has a way to go, it's wonderful to see just how far along she has come in her short life.

Many blessings,

Monday, July 20, 2009

Night of Worship

If you are in the ATL area on Thursday, July 23rd, stop by Browns Bridge Community Church in Cumming for their third Night of Worship in 2009 from 7:30p to 9:00p. Join us for a time of music, communion, and prayer. There is no cost for Night of Worship.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The "C" word

It's amazing how a small word can have such a LARGE impact on a person's life.


I think reality is beginning to set in for us. Now, I know that I have not been diagnosed with cancer, but it's the same as if you find a lump in your breast... You still worry until you get the prognosis.

I know that God is in control. My heart knows that. My mind - well, I'm trying to get my mind to know that. See, my mind likes to be in control too.

I am meditating on scripture though: BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD. That means I just need to sit back & let Him have control. No matter what, He will be glorified; in the good news or the not-so-good news.

Many blessings,

Friday, July 17, 2009

Quick update

The test wasn't done today... apparently, it needs to be done at the hospital as an outpatient procedure. The GI doctor confirmed that it IS GERD and there's something else going on.

The scope has been scheduled for next Thursday (July 23).

I'll keep you posted.

Many blessings,

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Prepping for tomorrow

Tomorrow is the BIG day: endoscopy (GERD scope).

I am trying to remain calm about it, but I'll be honest, I am starting to freak. I want to know what's going on & a course of action. At the same time, I'm scared to learn if its anything BAD (cancer).

Craig isn't worried... at least that's what he told me. He's trying not to worry about things that are beyond his control. Me, on the other hand, I'm worried. I've learned that esophageal cancer is related to breast cancer as well as a few others. Considering my paternal grandparents BOTH had breast cancer, I'm concerned.

Any Bible verses that you can recommend that I meditate on to help calm me?

Many blessings,

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Walking down memory lane

Today is perfect timing!! Especially since Chelsea's birthday yesterday has given me cause to walk down memory lane.

The kids LOVE to hear their birth stories. Especially Chelsea because hers was particularly interesting - not that Justin's wasn't, but his was different.

Toward the end of my pregnancy with Chelsea, I started experiencing complications. Quite honestly, I had problems throughout with high blood pressure. No one picked up on it until the very end though.

I was hospitalized about a week before I delivered Chelsea because of my blood pressure. I want to say that it rose to 210/120. Once in the hospital, it lowered itself back down to normal. Sent home on complete bed rest, I wound up BACK in the hospital just 2 days later.

On the morning of July 14, pitocin began. I remember being in the birthing suite and suddenly hearing a woman SCREAMING 'Get this thing out of me!'. What had I gotten myself into? I think within 15 minutes, labor started for me. HOLY COW!! Talk about pain! Birthing classes did not describe this pain accurately.

Labor was 12 hours. FINALLY it was time to push. I'm lazy - I'll admit it. I gave up pushing after 1 hour and BEGGED for a c-section. Not sure why the doctor readily agreed to it, but I was not disappointed when they wheeled me into the OR. What I was NOT prepared for was the fact that my epidural wasn't working enough to do a c-section. There was no choice but to put me under.

I don't remember much after that... besides throwing up on a nurse and being told that I had a baby girl.

What I do remember is looking at my daughter for the 1st time and falling head-over-heels in love!

Enjoy the memory!

Many blessings,

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Happy Birthday Chelsea!!!

Happy Birthday Chelsea!!

I just can't believe it! 11-years ago on July 14th, Chelsea Elizabeth was brought into this world. I'll be the 1st to admit that it was NOT as easy road, but it was worth every second!

The doctors had to induce me early in the morning. Labor pains started immediately. They were the WORST pain I had ever felt (even worse than the gas that I thought was labor 3 weeks before). After 12 hours of labor, it was time to push. I gave up - it was just too tired. I begged for a c-section! Once we got to the OR, things moved quickly. Unfortunately, the epidural started to wear off and they had to put me under. Last thing I remembered was counting to 10 backwards (I think I got to 8).

Next thing I remember is being woken by a nurse saying 'Congratulations Mrs. Ahrens. It's a girl!' Then I threw up on her - TWICE!

Several hours later, I finally got to hold my precious child.

And today, she turns 11!!!


Many blessings,

Sunday, July 12, 2009

True beauty

August cannot come fast enough for me... no, not just because my kids (and hubby) go back to school. Chelsea & I (and some friends) are going to a mother/daughter conference in Macon, GA for Secret Keeper Girls. It's a 2 hour conference specifically designed to teach 'tween girls' the true meaning of beauty; not what society says is beautiful, but what God says is beautiful. If you're a mom of a young girl - especially between the ages of 8 & 12 - then you'll want to check this out!!! Modesty, purity & fashion... can it get any better?

It can!!!! A christian artist named Jonny Diaz wrote a song that should be EVERY woman's anthem!

Little girl fourteen flipping through a magazine
Says she wants to look that way
But her hair isn’t straight her body isn’t fake
And she’s always felt overweight

Well little girl fourteen
I wish that you could see
That beauty is within your heart
And you were made with such care your skin your body and your hair
Are perfect just the way they are

There could never be a more beautiful you
Don’t buy the lies disguises and hoops they make you jump through
You were made to fill a purpose that only you could do
So there could never be a more beautiful you

Little girl twenty-one the things that you’ve already done
Anything to get ahead
And you say you’ve got a man but he’s got another plan
Only wants what you will do instead

Well little girl twenty-one you never thought that this would come
You starve yourself to play the part
But I can promise you there’s a man whose love is true
And he’ll treat you like the jewel you are

So turn around you’re not too far
To back away be who you are
To change your path go another way
It’s not too late you can be saved
If you feel depressed with past regrets
The shameful nights hope to forget
Can disappear they can all be washed away
By the one who’s strong can right your wrongs
Can rid your fears dry all your tears
And change the way you look at this big world
He will take your dark distorted view
And with His light He will show you truth
And again you’ll see through the eyes of a little girl

What a POWERFUL statement this song has! Reminding girls that no matter what your past is, God will wash it all away. Only He can right those wrongs. Beauty is not what the fashion magazines tell us.... to God, we are ALL that perfect 10 that we strive SO hard to be.

Many blessings,


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Hebrews 11:1

Sometimes God speaks to us in the most unusual ways. Usually I need to adhere to the 'Be Still and Know that I am God' in order to really hear Him. But today, He just jumped out at me. And in all places - Kohl's (I know, I've recently opted to boycott them, but that's another story).

Just wandering through Kohl's I came across a really pretty plaque (I should have bought it). For some reason, it spoke to my heart. Now I know why. God wanted me to share it with a few blog friends.

Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

This simple verse speaks volumes to my heart. Often, I am questioned by non-Christians how I can believe in a God I cannot see. But it is through FAITH that I believe. He has given me tangible evidence that He is here; nature, relationships, healing.

Many blessings,

Friday, July 10, 2009

A day of updates

Doubting that anyone actually reads my blog, I hesitate to update sometimes. But then I realize that even if I don't have any readers, writing is therapy for me. So, I will continue to blog.

I read an AMAZING praise report on Alaina today. She has been transferred back to Gainesville and Stephanie & Scotlon were FINALLY able to hold their precious girl. Stephanie even got to feed her - through a feeding tube, but who cares. Alaina still has a long road ahead, but it is just SO MIRACULOUS to see the progress that she has made. God is SO good!!!

As for me, well, I did receive the results of my blood test. Everything was normal & there is no sign of bacteria in my esophagus. I did make my appointment for the GI doctor which is scheduled for NEXT Friday (July 17th). That's when they'll do the scope. I'm not to thrilled about this process.... you know, the internet is a wonderful thing, but sometimes you can learn TOO much information. Anyway, I am hoping that I will get my results next Friday too. I'll admit, I am worried. The new medication that they gave me isn't giving me the relief that I was hoping for. Maybe it just takes time.

I also made an appointment for the allergist. Quite honestly, I am praying that my GERD is allergy induced (I just read an article about that). We'll see... only time will tell.

In the meantime, I'm living life. Hubby, kids, work, church. Showed the kids the Epi-pen yesterday so they know it's not a toy. Of course, when I woke up today the 1st thing they asked was 'Do we need to use the needle? Are you having allergies today?' Why do I have a feeling that these 2 are EAGER to use a needle on me!??!?!? Paybacks!

I serve an awesome God!!

Many blessings,

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Freakin' out a bit

A few months ago, I wound up in the ER with chest pains. I swear I was having a heart attack. After an overnight stay at the hospital, never-ending tests & becoming a human pin cushion it was determined that I was merely suffering from GERD – gastroesophageal reflux disease. Basically, heart burn w/ a charley horse cramp in your esophagus. No biggie, right? Take some Tums & call it a day.

I'll admit, that's been all I've needed to do. Every so often I'll have a slight flair up. I'll take Prilosec for a few days & then it's better. Except for the past few days. Maybe it's stress, maybe I'm not eating right. Who knows.... all I know is that I have been having an attack for the past 4 days – mornings & evenings.

Like every other stubborn PITA in the world, I finally called and made an appointment. Not sure what I was thinking, but it certainly didn't involve blood work & specialists. However, as I'm walking out of my appointment today, I start to really digest what the doctor has told me.
Now, I know this is all routine and I am quite certain there is NOTHING wrong, but hearing the words 'esophageal cancer' scared the poop out of me! I am NOT diagnosed with it!!!! Please know that. I am simply going to a specialist so that they can do a scope & rule it out – along with Barrett's syndrome.

The word cancer really freaks you out. I mean, wouldn't it freak you out? You start thinking of treatments & hair loss, feeling sick & survival rates. Of course, I'm Googling the heck out of it.
In my heart of hearts, I know that all is well. This testing is just a precaution. God is with me no matter what the outcome and it's all in His control. That thought helps ease the fear a little bit.... but I am human with an active imagination.

For now, I am praying that God gives me the patience until I get the official diagnosis, the peace of knowing that He is with me every step of the way.

In the meantime, I also have to go to an allergist to find out what could have caused my anaphylactic back in April while on vacation. I'll be armed with an Epipen & Benedryl for now. Then it's off to another specialist to find out what I'm allergic to. Talk about becoming a human pin cushion!!

In other news, in just 6 short days, Chelsea will turn 11. I can't believe it! She's growing up so fast, right before my eyes, but I'm loving every minute of it. It's SO much fun to see her personality develop more & more - seeing a little of me, a little of Craig & even a little bit of my sister, Christa.

I'm off to finish working...... (shh)

Many blessings,

Monday, July 6, 2009

Change is in the wind

I think.....

It's been rough lately. Life has been hectic, especially at work. It's tough to work somewhere where you know it's not your calling. I know this is a temporary job.

I've started applying for a few jobs. Came across my 'dream' job recently. It's in Forsyth County - part time victim advocate. Can't you see me doing that!?!?!? I mean, that's what I've been working towards. My goal - ok, part of my goal. But I definitely see it as a stepping stone for the road ahead.

Ultimately, I'd love to begin my own ministry. Get out in the public and tell my story. Tour high schools, colleges & youth groups; telling them about date rape & how you can overcome. There isn't a handbook on this stuff: Ministry for Dummies. (I wish!)

Anyway, on to a new topic.... Alaina

Stephanie has recently updated her blog. Alaina is making great strides in her healing (thanks to our Father). Of course, not as rapidly as everyone would like to see, but small steps forward are still steps forward. Alaina is going to be (she really already is) a testimony to God's faithfulness. I'm asking for continued prayer for her healing.. but also for Stephanie & Scotlon. This is tough on them. They are so very thankful that the Lord is working a miracle in their precious child, but get frustrated at the situation as well. Pray for their strength & patience.

Just purchased tickets for my daughter & I to road trip to Macon, GA to check out the Secret Keeper Girls conference. If you don't know anything about Secret Keepers, you've got to check them out - ESPECIALLY if you have a daughter between the ages of 8 - 12!!! Not quite sure how I found them, but I sure am happy that I did! Modesty, fashion, true beauty & God's word!

Oh well... time to finish up.

Many blessings,

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Update on Alaina

I've taken the words directly from Stephanie's blog:

Alaina was transfered to the NICU at Egleston's tonight. Scotlon rode down there to meet the team and make sure that she got settled in okay. I just spoke to him and she is all tucked in with her new doctors and nurses. For the next 24 hours they plan on trying to just keep her stable and let her rest since she's been through a lot today. If all goes well tomorrow (or later today technically) they will discharge me from the hospital and I will be able to go down and see her. There are so many different variables that are playing a part in her health right now. For the next couple of days we are trying to get her well enough that she doesn't have to go on the ECMO machine. There's only a short window that they can introduce the ECMO though so they may have to just so she doesn't miss that window. It's so much information to take in and we're still trying to process everything.

Jeremiah 29:11~For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Sweet Jesus, I ask that you put your healing touch on our baby girl. You are the Ultimate Physician and there is no docotor on this earth who can heal her the way that you can. Touch her with your hands and let her feel nothing but love pouring over her. We are placing her life in your hands, Lord.

I've done a little research on ECMO and here's what I found:

What is ECMO?
Some babies have lung or heart disease that keeps the right amount of oxygen from getting to body organs. These babies may be helped by the use of an ECMO machine.
ECMO stands for Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation. It is a technique using a machine that gives the blood oxygen outside of the body. ECMO is used when treatment with a ventilator has not worked and there is no other treatment available. When a baby is on the ECMO machine, the blood is being given oxygen just as it would if the lungs or heart were normal.

How is a baby put on the ECMO machine?
A surgeon at the ECMO center will put tubes in the right side of the baby’s neck and maybe in the groin area. The procedure takes about 15-30 minutes.

Does ECMO hurt?
When placed on the machine the baby will be given pain medicine. The baby will also get medicine to keep him/her calm during the test.

How does ECMO work?
One tube drains the blood out of the heart and sends it to the machine to pick up the oxygen. After the oxygen gets into the blood, the other tube brings the blood back to the heart. It will then be pumped by the heart to other organs.

What are the risks of ECMO?
As with all procedures, there are some risks. These include bleeding, infection and intracranial hemorrhage. The doctors and nurses will be watching your baby closely for these risks.

As you can see, this is quite a procedure for anyone, especially a tiny girl like Alaina.

Thanks for praying!

Many blessings,