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A Welcome, A Thank You and An Update

Welcome to the new readers who have subscribed to TMG this year. Hopefully, you’ve searched the site and found an abundance of information to help you become more successful in the garden. If you don’t find what you need, feel free to email me with questions. Growing food is an important part of being able to take care of yourself and I want you to have that skill.

A Thank You

To the many friends and readers of TMG who have left comments on previous posts and have sent emails expressing concern for Bill and me during this difficult time — we’re so grateful to you. We’ve derived strength and encouragement from reading and re-reading your messages of care and loving concern.

In January of this year, when I first alerted you (here) that Bill and I were facing a major challenge, I also promised to share more details when the situation was not so emotionally charged. Although we are far from finished with the challenge, now is the time for that update.

My intent is not to “air my troubles” — (as my friend and reader Jack from New Jersey might call it), but to encourage you to walk in the direction you want to go – no matter what your situation may be.

Guessing Correctly

Many of you have guessed correctly that our challenge is a health issue.

For about a decade Bill has been dealing with some health issues that we’d managed to keep under control.  This past year things escalated and he’s been and is very ill. The illness has only been visible to others in the past 6 months.

The healing protocol that we started on in 2014, is something we should have started many years back. Unfortunately, we didn’t realize that until it was too late.

Painting a True Word Picture of Bill’s Condition in as Few Words as Possible

(Pictures of Bill before and now are at the end of the post.)

The Winter Begins:

  • Has not been able to sleep in a bed for more than 1 1/2 years
  • Has not been able to paint (that’s how we make our living) since the end of 2013
  • Did not go out of the house after Christmas week of 2014
  • Passed out several times in the middle of the night going to the bathroom. (Fortunately, I got to him in time to catch him)
  • Severe bleeding internally
  • Severe pain all the time and couldn’t sleep because of it. Many times he was “out of his head” with pain.
  • He couldn’t get downstairs. I had to take everything upstairs to him.
  • Stopped eating for 3 months. AND his body was shutting down and it seemed only a matter of time before he would not be able to take nutrients and fluids.

January

  • I got someone to help me move him (and his chair) downstairs towards the end of January. (I was very afraid he would fall down the stairwell that he had to pass on the way to the bathroom when he was upstairs.)
  • After we were downstairs, I slept on the sofa next to his chair.  I was up to attend to him every 20 to 40 minutes 24 hours a day. (This just about finished me off. Fortunately for us both, Bill found strength inside himself to get strong enough to take some of the pressure off of me.)
  • He got worse.
  • He couldn’t stand any light. Stayed in total darkness.
  • He couldn’t stand any talking, other than just a few words.
  • He was always freezing. (Our electric bill for one month was double the highest bill we had ever had in the 17 years we’ve been at this home.)
    (Had our power gone off in the 3 severe storms we had, Bill would have died. He couldn’t have made it through because he just couldn’t stand ANY cold.)

In the middle of all the horror, here’s what has HEALED and is GONE:

  • A 3 year old umbilical hernia that was very severe.
  • Severe internal bleeding.
  • A tumor the size of a lemon that ached constantly and enlarged over the past 3 years.
  • A severe problem with his feet that he’s had since he was 13. Twice, all the skin on his feet thickened and turned black and peeled off. After 60 years of living with this problem, it’s gone!

Sudden Change Towards Life:

At one point, I couldn’t recognize “my” Bill. Looking at his face was like looking at a skull. His hands were like a skeleton’s hands. He didn’t even sound like Bill. And without clothes, he still looks like a walking skeleton.

As I mentioned, his body was starting to reject all fluids and nutrients. He couldn’t eat (and didn’t for 3 months) and couldn’t taste anything.

Then things suddenly changed.

  • He started eating, tasting and gaining strength.
  • His face under his cheek bones is filling out just a little, but enough to make him look like more than just a skull.
  • The abdominal pain that was constant – now comes and goes and has lessened.
  • He has the lights on 24 hours a day.
  • Voices don’t bother him.
  • He is exercising his hands and is trying to rebuild. (It’ll be a long process because he’s nothing but bones right now.)

May 2015

  • He put his glasses on after 5 months.
  • He started reading. (He’s reviewed more than 50 of his art books and is now reading Tolkein again.
  • He started sketching things in the room.
  • He is trying to gain strength and when the temperatures have been over 80 degrees he ventured to the back door; then down the steps (holding well to the handrail); and then walked around with the walker just a little. (His goal is 3 times a day.)

(He hopes to be able to stay out longer as the days progress and do some watercolor sketches.)

  • He is able to sleep about 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours at a time, but gets adequate rest and sleep over a 24 hour period.

The Problem Causing the Severe Pain Still Needs to Heal.

In spite of that, Bill’s attitude is absolutely amazing. He won’t allow me to give up even the slightest bit. He’s determined that we’re going to BOTH come out this better than we went in.

About a week ago, I was so bad off, that he “gave me orders” to start sleeping upstairs again where I could get more oxygen (window open) and could do hot and cold water therapy in the shower each morning to help some of my “new” problems. It’s working and I’m getting better.

He has a bell to ring, should he need me during the night.

It’s a Full Time Job

Tending and fixing for Bill takes most of my day. Bathing, soaking, nutrients, washing and fixing juices and food, cleaning and everything else. I’m exhausted most of the time, but am improving.

I’ve not been timely with many things I usually do in the garden, but it’s growing nonetheless.

And as you well know, I’ve not written as much on TMG as usual.  But that will change too. And although it might take some time,  I hope to be back in full swing and better than ever in every aspect.   Bill won’t hear to anything less. 🙂

Final Thoughts

Dear friends, I can’t thank you enough for your loving concern over the past months.  It has spurred us on, encouraged us, and lifted us up.  I hope I can do the same for you over time.

With much love and appreciation,

Theresa (and Bill!)

__________

Pictures of Bill – Before and Now

Below is a picture of Bill taken in September of 2014.  The second picture was taken only 8 months later on one of his first trips outside with a walker.

Bill in September 2014.

Bill in September 2014.

Bill the first of May, 2015

Bill the first of May, 2015

________

Related Posts:

Gardening and Life In General – Walking in the Direction You Want to Go

 Victory – Success – It’s an Inside Job and Only You Can Do It

20 comments to A Welcome, A Thank You and An Update

  • Phyllis Ensor

    The prayer below is my miracle prayer I say daily for my husband and family and friends in need.

    O GOD of heavenly powers, who, by the might of your command, drivest away from our bodies all sickness and all infirmity; Be present in your goodness with your servant [N.], that their weakness may be banished and their strength recalled; that their health being restored, they may bless thy holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

  • Judeen

    Wishing the best for both of you and thank you so much for the update. The world of blogging can almost be a family filled with trust as well as providing excellent information. Your writings fulfill both aspects. Thank you for your trust. Illness can be so mean but love of family comes through.

  • Kay Horton

    Wow!!! You and Bill have been through a huge storm which is not over, but hopefully is subsiding! Prayers for continued improvement and good health for you both! Thank you for sharing! God is amazing and the things that have healed and gone away can only be from Him! Although God is too beyond human understanding, we can KNOW God and his Love through the evidence He gives us (like the things that have healed and gone away). I compare my faith to the air conditioning/heating unit outside. I only vaguely understand how it works, but I reap the benefits and evidence that it works every day. It works for my good, and so does God. God bless you both!!

  • Macy Widofsky

    Dear Theresa,

    I’m so glad to hear that your husband is feeling better. It is so hard to take care of a loved one who is ill, and still take care of YOU, too.

    As for the garden, fortunately you have the preliminaries already set up! Now, slow and steady will win the race. Plant what you can.

    I hope that all will be well!

    Sincerely,

    Macy Widofsky

  • Gail Griffith

    Our prayers and thoughts are with you both…thank you for sharing this with us.

    Peace

    Gail and John

  • Karen

    Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I am thanking God for your courage under fire as it is an inspiration to me. Sending our love and prayers for grace and strength to continue to increase each day. You are God’s beloved and He is greatly pleased with you.

  • Pat

    Oh, thank God! I am glad, Theresa, that we were not told how truly dismal was the state of affairs since December. I tend to want to “fix” things, and the knowledge of the extent of Bill’s health crisis would have prompted me to actions other than prayer. Prayer in the end was more than adequate! Your faith and tenacity are exemplary. I am humbled!

    much love,
    pat

  • Laura Funderburk

    I did not know what was wrong, only that something was terribly wrong. Surely the Lord heard my prayers for you, dear ones, as He must have heard the many prayers coming from other sources, also. I am SO thankful that things are better. Thank you for taking the time to update.

  • Steve

    Dear Theresa and Bill,
    What an absolute nightmare this must have been for you both.
    Once again you have shown us just what “fortitude” is.
    I doubt I will step foot in the potager from now on with out thinking of you two fighters.
    With the very best of wishes to you both and may your God go with you.

    Steve and Family
    Lubersac
    France

  • I thought it might be a health issue too. I have been where you are. Here’s hoping you continue to steal a few moments for yourself in the garden or at your computer or doing whatever else brings a few moments of joy between the difficult moments.

  • Kate

    Love to you always.

  • danita

    Theresa and Bill, I will add you both to my prayer list. Thoughts and prayer headed your way.

  • Sandra

    Everyone else has said it so well, Theresa. We’ll keep the prayers going here in MD.

  • Farming Bear

    I have prayed along with Phyllis Ensor. Thank you, Phyllis. It was a prayer that my heart could resonate fully with. We continue to reach up with petition and thanksgiving. Prayers and great love continue for you both, sweet friends!

  • Toni Brock

    Theresa and Bill,

    You both are so very loved. I have truly wished so much that I could have been your neighbor and helped you through some of the roughness. You both are so special and so dear to me.
    Thank you very much for sharing some of your journey.

    Lovingly,
    Toni

  • Kay

    Theresa, My prayers and thoughts are with you and Bill. Here’s to greater healing and recovery!

  • Coco

    Thanks for letting us know. Praying for better days.

  • Mary Yahnke

    Theresa, thanks for the update. I guess our prayers have been working. I’ve been gone from the blog for a few months due to my own family’s needs, but have kept you in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Betty Dotson

    Theresa, I could feel from your posts that you were facing a great battle, like never before. As soon as you shared about it, I asked my husband Alfred to pray with me for you both. I haven’t posted here much due to my own battles with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and the other health problems that it triggers, but your posts keep me moving slowly but surely toward the goal. Rereading your book really encourages me and I pick it up for a few minutes every chance I get. You have no idea what a Blessing you have been to me.

    Your strength, fortitude and desire to help others in the middle of the fight of your life is so amazing.

    We will continue to lift you both up in prayer to the only One who can help and heal.

    May God Bless and strengthen you both,
    Betty

  • Sue Thom

    Bill and Theresa, may you both continue to be healed, strengthened and uplifted by the Lord. I will continue my prayers for you both.

    The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace, now and forevermore.

    Sue T.

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