Monday, September 30, 2013

Playing The Waiting Game!

Morning View from Uncle Pete's Cabin at Rockhaven Farms
Mt. Juliet, Tennessee - September 22, 2013


Thanks so much from both of us to those who have written asking about Bill's health.  I am not surprised at the outpouring of support from the blog community, but Bill's surprise and appreciation has been fun to observe as he is not quite as deeply involved in this community as I have been for the past 3 1/2 years and he still is amazed at the bonds developed among people who have never even met in person.  I don't intend to devote this entire post to an update, but here is what we know at this point.  Basically, nothing!  The swelling in his neck has begun to decrease and doctors still believe that it is complications from coughing and that the laryngitis is a result of the swelling pressing on his right vocal chord.  We are assured that this is treatable and fixable.  But the question remains that the whole issue is very, VERY odd and they want to be absolutely certain that nothing else is going on in there.  He has had several tests, a CT Scan and is facing more testing this week since the results of the original tests were "inconclusive."  (Don't you just love that word?)  Thus, more waiting and more time without his voice.  Again, doctor assures us that attempting to use his voice as much as he can will NOT hurt and might possibly even be helpful.  But his voice is very hoarse and raspy with little volume and sometimes attempting to use it brings on more coughing, so he mostly whispers.  His incredible patience and grace throughout this ordeal is such an inspiration to me.  We've both had a couple of complete meltdowns, but sadly, it's more often been HIM encouraging me rather than the other way around.  

But there is so much value to be found in the process of waiting and I often wonder if that isn't one of main reasons these periods of adversity come our way.  Bill's kids at school have been so caring, patient and concerned.  The faculty and staff have been amazing.  As for me, I think I can safely say you'll never hear me complain again about Bill talking to much or dominating conversations.  Those of you who've met us, know that he is a total extrovert who simply loves people, loves a group and loves TO TALK!  Some of our most intense conversations arguments over the past 36 1/2 years have been my saying something to the effect of, "wouldn't it have been nice if someone else could've had a chance to say something?"  Right now, I don't care if anyone else ever has a chance to say something - I just want to hear HIS voice.  So for me, there has been value in reminding myself to take nothing for granted and appreciate every moment to the very fullest.  

IN THE MEANTIME............

Last weekend, we had to be in Nashville for Bill to attend a required meeting relating to his annual Travel Abroad program.  Long before he became ill, we had made reservations for the weekend in our favorite cabin, Uncle Pete's, at Rockhaven Farms in nearby Mt. Juliet.  Today's picture is an early morning view from the large picture window in Uncle Pete's and I've written many times before about what a haven this place has become for us.  While Bill attended his meeting in Nashville, my sister (who lives nearby) came over to the cabin for some sister time.  Our intent was some walking at the wonderful Long Hunter State Park which is just a few miles away, but mother nature had other ideas.  It had rained all night and the rain continued to pour, so we spent the entire time sitting on Uncle Pete's front porch...................

 September 21, 2013

..............enjoying the longest uninterrupted sister time I can ever remember since we've been adults.  It was glorious!   Between our parents (who live close to me) and her two daughters (who love their Aunt Sharon and Uncle Bill), suffice it to say, spending time just the two of us has been next to impossible.  We vowed to try and make it happen more often.  

This past weekend, Bill has felt better and his coughing seems to be improving, so we've enjoyed a couple of almost "normal" days.  Saturday found us dining al fresco at Mimi's Cafe for a decadent breakfast (on his part, I had my usual oatmeal) and to the hospital to visit a friend.  Both of these events are significant in that it has been weeks since we would have considered either because of Bill's constant coughing.  Following that, we visited a nearby nursery for more fall flowers and to Trader Joe's for some dinner fixings!  It was a wonderful Saturday!  

Sunday was spent quietly watching our church service broadcast and enjoying pizza with friends who we knew wouldn't mind an occasional bout of coughing.  Thankfully, these are becoming much, MUCH less frequent.  These are special friends who despite being on vacation all week last week, called or texted every single day to check on Bill.  

Before I close out this incredibly long (too long) post, please let me ask once again for your patience in neglecting YOU during this ordeal.  I've blogged long enough now that my long time blog friends know my routine and know that during hectic times, I tend to read blogs quickly just to keep up and not comment as often or as thoroughly.  But lately, I've picked up a few new "followers" (I prefer to call you friends) that I haven't even acknowledged and must confess I haven't even been around to visit YOUR blogs.  This is not my usual style and I promise to catch up as soon as I can.  I thank you so much for reading and making the commitment to read often by becoming a follower.  I do appreciate it and will visit you soon.

It would encourage me if you'd share a time you found value in a period of waiting! 


  1. I neither do well waiting nor when I can't get answers. Years back I had something similar but not as bad as Bill. I coughed whenever I talked. It was horribly annoying to me and I am sure to everyone else. I had testing done and got no answers. Eventually I was put on stronger inhaled steroids than had been originally tried and not sure if that worked but eventually the coughing stopped. No one could ever say why my airway wouldn't relax but we did rule out a bunch of things:) Expensive, frustrating, but in the past. And now I have this foot pain that two doctors can't diagnose. Both have used the word "mystery." Never good to hear coming from a doctor. The last conversation I had with one ended with,"years from now you'll probably look back and think... remember when my foot hurt for a few years." Sigh. Anyhow, I hope Bill finds answers and/or at least relief. Hugs to you both.

  2. Well you know my life is upside down, and it's all hurry-up! And wait! LOL For me, with painting, if you don't have patience, if you try to rush it, if you don't wait... well, you mess it up. If you let things progress on their own schedule and check the urge to try to hurry it along, you end up with gold. If only waiting didn't stink! :)

    *crossing my fingers for your hubby!*

  3. Glad to hear your hubby is improving. Nice that you got some alone time with your sis! Yeah, the weather was terrible here this weekend. We got the remnants of a typhoon with high winds and plenty of rain. No hiking for me :(

  4. So glad to hear Bill is somewhat better. I really believe doctors are pretty much always guessing and seldom know "for sure" about a lot of things. We are all so different as people and they do call what doctors do "practice" after all. I hope it just goes away but it would definitely be nice to know where it came from and how to avoid it in the future. As for waiting, I do it very badly and have found that it seems to come my way to help me practice my patience. Medical waiting is however the worst I have ever done. Right now I am waiting to see if the idiots in our congress are going to shut down the government and force me to leave Assateague Island National Seashore 4 days before my reservation is up. Nothing compared to your waiting for sure.

  5. Glad he seems to be improving, and I'm so sorry for the fear and frustrations that you both must be feeling. Hang tough, sweet one. And don't worry about us! :)

  6. Hi Sharon, We are home from our 10 day vacation to Va/Md/West Va... Had a great time --but it's nice to be home. I can only imagine what you are going through --waiting on test results and hoping and praying that Bill will get WELL... God Bless You BOTH.

    Your little trip to Nashville probably was good for you --at least for you. Glad you had some quality time with your sister...

    I managed to lose 3.4 pounds on my vacation--despite the Pumpkin Fudge. We did a TON of hiking/walking ---so that helped in addition to eating healthy...


  7. I think the best thing about inconclusive is that the doctors didn't find something urgent to deal with right away. Glad he is at least turning the corner.

    The hardest period of waiting for me was when John took a job in Chicago and I had to stay behind to finish school before following him out there. We were separated for 9 months and that was a very hard time and the waiting seemed to take forever.

  8. I hope you will get some answers soon, I can not imagine how a vocal instructor can manage with out a voice. Three cheers for students who are kind and patient!

    Years ago, jan and I were separated by me going back to college in the US while he stayed in the Netherlands to finish working. It was a very long 6 months. I learned a lot about waiting and resilience, plus we were married within two months after he arrived here.

    Lovely cabin and pictures.

  9. First I am thankful that all is going well for Bill and he is recovering. That is an answer to prayer.

    I have had to learn to be patient in healing from my foot surgery. I knew from my past ankle surgeries that healing takes a long time and there are set backs but I thought my foot surgery would be a faster process. It is not so. I just want to fast forward to the finish line and have it all be behind me but that isn't how this works. Instead each day I have to remind myself how blessed I am that I can do all that I can do and that if I am patient and don't keep trying to rush my progress that I will indeed get to the finish line eventually just as I did when I went through recovery after ankle surgeries. I had chronic pain post surgery back then for two very long years! I do pray that I don't have to repeat that but if I do then so be it. I have to remind myself that it's not life threatening even though it is life altering.

  10. Hugs, Sharon. Hope that Bill is on the mend.

    I lost my Dad after 25 years of waiting with his MS. He had a positive attitude most days, even with an incurable disease that is disabling. "I can drink coffee, watch TV & movies, and read and visit with you" His favorite saying was "You can always start over". He put life into living- but it was a different life than what any of us had planned. Can't make a deal with an incurable disease, can make an okay life with different priorities and connections.

    Here's to Bill getting better soon. And, for finding small things that bring comfort. Stay in touch.