Archive | April 2010

blah, blah, blah…KIDNEY FAILURE!

So….been tryin this whole, let’s jam a tube up my pee hole for a few days now.  Thought I was getting pretty good at it yesterday..but am feeling ill today.  Just that sick, malaise, icky…my bladder burns…I can literally barely get urine to come out on its own…and not that much with the cath eithr.  There are also tiny blood clots too.  I a m officially scared now.  My kidneys may be failing.  I am also nauseated.  I am on Bactrim DS…you would think that would’ve helped.  Nothing goes right.  Not one damn thing.  Well, anothr life lesson learned…don’t take pooping or peeing for granted…cuz when you can’t do it…ITS A BIG FREAKIN DEAL!

Gettin really hard to stay tough.  Really hard.

God has a huge sense of humor….

So I went to the urologist today…seems my bladder is kind of paralyzed and doesn’t know when to say its beyond full…to give me the signal to pee.  A normal adult bladder holds about 300 ml of urine when full.  Mine was drained of 750 ml after having urinated what I thought was all my urine.  A normal person should pee like every 4 hours.  I pee like twice a day.  My bladder is so stretched out, it has no elasticity…so my urine sits in there and breeds bacteria.

Now I get to catheterize myself three times a day…everyday…for 3 months…and pray that my bladder regenerates and shrinks back to normal size….but if not, I will be stuck doing this forever.  I am freaking out.  It hurts to stick that cath in there!  THREE times a day?  OMG.  Unreal.

What else? 

Other than that horrible news…my daughter and I had a great day getting our nails done and going to dinner!  I’m so thankful to be alive to see her 16th birthday!  So thankful to be alive to be with my children and my family.

Screw you bladder!


Sweet 16… <3

Thursday is my daughters 16th birthday!  My “baby.”  Why is 16 such a big deal?  I guess it’s all because you can finally drive.  I believe it’s also different when a girl turns 16, as opposed to when a boy does…maybe it’s just me, but I do.  I can remember so clearly…her sitting in her favorite chair, with her oh so dirty and falling apart pink and white blankie, flipping one of the threads across her nose as she sucked on her oh so deformed thumb!  Her really bad overbite from the thumb sucking…the pad of her thumb was flat and smooth like a pebble from so much overuse!

Her first day of kindergarten…a tantrum because the seams of her socks were not hitting across her toes just to her satisfaction.  Her screaming and running from having her tangled hair brushed.  Her escaping from the bathtub and running out the backdoor butt naked through the field with me in high pursuit!  Her sitting in the backyard at the picnic table watching worms (or as she for some odd reason called them…snots) for hours on end.

Her taking her toy shopping cart and sneaking into her older brothers room at night and “shopping” while he was asleep…til he finally caught on to how some of his things were disappearing!  Having to buy her around 8 different goldfish over a 3 month span because they were dying due to excessive “petting.”  Enduring several Walmart meltdowns in the toy aisles when she couldn’t have what she wanted and her screaming ‘KIDNAPPER!!!” as I tried to drag her out of the store!  Having to put a lock on the refrigerator door due to her raiding it in the middle of the night and painting the whole house and herself with all of the contents.

Her first little school dance in sixth grade where she could dress all up and had her hair done and just looked like a little angel.  Now she is turning 16.  She is beautiful…both inside and outside.  She has a truly beautiful heart.  She is funny.  She is strong and resilient.  She has to endure some extra obstacles, but she goes through life with a light heartedness that you can’t help but admire.

Happy Sweet 16 to my little baby.  I’m so proud to have you as my daughter!  If I could’ve gone shopping to pick one, it would’ve been you.  I have been very blessed in atleast 2 occassions of my life and those were getting two of the best children ever created!

One of those days…

Have you ever had one of those days?  You know, where nothing or very little goes right?  But it’s just all dumb little things going wrong?  I had one of em today.  First of all, couldn’t sleep at all last night due to pain…so tried to sleep in today…yea right, our dogs had the barks all day, people were outside being loud…so very little shut eye was had.

All day long, I have been dropping things.  I mean almost everything I have picked up, has fallen out of my darn hand!  It was making me soooo angry!  Irrationally angry!  Went to the grocery, and dropped stuff…got stuck behind the aisle crowders.  Got in so much pain, thought I’d never make it outta the store.  Card wouldn’t work at the check out….their machine was messed up, worked on the fourth try.  Bought a bottle of wine, check out girl wasn’t old enough, had to wait forever for someone to scan it.  Get my purchases loaded into car, cart rack was like a quarter mile away!  Had to make that decision…hmmm, be a bad person and leave cart here…or be good and walk it to the rack…even though I can barely take another step….Yea, I walked it to the rack.

Went to get a haircut…got a really bad one.  She butched me.  Did I complain? No, who gives a crap.  So short now, it won’t matter what I do to it.  Come home, the house is a mess…I am exhausted…but I dusted a bit.  Took a shower…put out fresh bar of soap, since evidently it never occurs to anyone else to do so…put fresh razors out, refilled toilet paper…again, cuz no one else does.  Started a load of laundry.  Dried dishes.  Laid down…thought about Jessies party tomorrow…do I have all the food and decorations and gifts ready to go?  I think so…I still need to wrap the gifts though…maybe tomorrow before the party…too tired tonight.

Put lotion on and discovered it smells bad.  Broke a nail.  Fish tank filter won’t work.  My bra wire poked out of my bra and was stabbing me all day while shopping…forgot to add that in.  Ate a piece of pizza…now my gut is feeling totally barfy.  Pain is on hyper overdrive.  Eyeliner tip broke off and stuck to the front of my shirt, I didn’t know it and smeared it allover it.  Lucy got in my closet and chewed up the birthday table cloth for tomorrows party. 

Eh…it’s one of those days.  I am gonna lay down and hope I don’t drop my tea on me while in bed.  Look for something to watch on tv.  Have a Dove chocolate.  Hope tomorrow is a better day.


Life is too short to be anyone but yourself.


I Love this song!!!  And it is soooo true……………shhhh………………………..IT HAPPENS!!!

Missed my alarm clock ringing

Woke up telephone screaming
Boss man singin’ his same old song

Rolled in late about an hour

No cup of coffee, no shower

Walked in shame with two different shoes on

Now it’s poor me, why me, oh me borin
the same ol’ worn out blah blah story

there’s not good explanation for it at all

Ain’t no rhyme or reason

No complicated meaning

Ain’t no need to overthink it

Let go laughing

Life don’t go quite like ya plan it

We try so hard to understand
the Irrefutable, indisputable, fact is
it happens:

the irrefutable, indisputable, fact is,   
it happens

Ain’t no rhyme or reason

No complicated meaning

Ain’t no need to overthink it

Let go laughing

Life don’t go quite like ya plan it

We try so hard to understand     
the Irrefutable, indisputable, fact is

yeah the Irrefutable, indisputable, absolutable, totally futable fact is
shh it happens!!!

Tells me I should stop over-thinkin and analyzing stuff…live, love and laugh more!  Especially laugh…lol!

I’m still hurtin today…but seems a bit better than I will take it baby! 😀  Ok, didn’t hurt that I took a little extra pain pill either….;)



Been laying in bed, other than going to restroom for over two days now due to this kidney infection.  Talked to doctor offices on the phone about it.  Family doc has me on antibiotics, which I have been on one or another since last summer now.  This is the first time my kidneys have hurt like this.  The fact that I can even FEEL pain with all the opoids I take is beyond me…but my body must just love to scream out I guess.

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I have an appointment with a urologist next Thursday…ONE WEEK.  If I make it that long without going to the ER, I will be so happy…but I dunno.  I do not want to go to the ER.  I do not want more damn medical bills, plus I would get there and sit out in chairs for hours, then triaged for a couple hours, left on a hard cot for hours, then there would be the whole med ordeal…whenever you are on strong pain meds, they give you “the look” and start calling docs and pharmacies to make sure you’re not a junkie…lol.

I feel like crap obviously.  Layin in bed on my heating pad constantly.  Drinking tons of water.  I got cranberry tablets, but then found out I shouldn’t overdo cranberry or cherry type juices or supplements due to my blood clotting disorder and taking bloodthinners…so, yea.  Add to the joy of me, since I do take narcotics, I am clogged up…haven’t gone in 2 weeks now…belly feels like knives are traveling around in there…all that scar tissue.  I’m taking massive quantities of Mirilax and Lactulose, with zero results so far.  Adds to the fun.

I’m feeling pretty much alone.  I have a supportive family, thank God…and some good friends…but I FEEL alone.  Thank goodness for my online friends, who also live with the same problem of pain day in and day out..they help me more than they know.  Just having a connection with someone who REALLY knows what it’s like to live life like this, helps me tolerate it a little more.  I wish they lived closer, so we could chillax together and commiserate! 😉

Every single movement brings pain in one part of my body or another.  It’s really mind boggeling if you think about it.  Move your arm…did you cringe?  Bend over…did you burst into tears?  Raise your arms to shampoo your hair… did you wince?  Take a deep breath…did you stop short in pain?  All of that and worse happens to me every time I move.  It’s a really bizarro way to live your life.

I am young.  I want to have a normal life.  I want to be physical.  I want to exercise.  To shop.  To swim.  To just BE….without all the challenges of doing it all with excruciating pain.  I hate swallowing a tub of pills everyday.  I hate the brain fog that comes with it.  I hate the negative emotions swirling in my head.  I hate hating the man that did this to me. I hate that I can not totally forgive him for making my life a living hell.

So, yea…alone.  That’s how I feel.  Even with family and friends.  I am ALONE with my pain.  MY experience with pain.  My emotional connection with the pain.  My way of dealing with the pain.  Some days I can be positive.  Some days I just can’t do it.  I can’t fake it.  I have to let it out.  I have to be grouchy and sick.  I have to be selfish and just take care of my needs for a period of time…then I can get a second wind, and be there for everyone else.  During those “down times” they just have to struggle along without my services…lol.  Sometimes I feel they would all be better off if I just was gone in some way.  I am sure it sucks to have a wife and mother who is ill.

Those of us who know pain on a real deep and personal level, are alone to a large extent…even if we were all in one room together, we each live with the pain differently.  We each feel the pain differently, emotionally and physically.  Some are stronger than others physically, some emotionally.  Some are stoic, some wear it on their sleeve…some fall in between.

Life is hard for everyone to some degree.  We all have our issues, our problems…I think maybe I “FEEL” other peoples problems more than I need to…I tend to make their problems my own in some ways.  I need to stop that, for my own preservation…stress does of course increase the bodys pain perception…stress can destroy your health.  Therefore, somedays…..being ALONE…is just what you need to be.

My prayer for today is for all my friends who are living with pain…to have some less painful days…whether alone or in a crowded house.

Thanks to all the kind readers who visit my little blog here…usually just me blatthering on about poor pitiful me…but better to put it here, then to allow it to fester in my head.


Another day, Another pill….and so the saga continues:

Soo…had my monthly Pain Clinic appointment today.  Told them my belly pain is out of control again due to the neuromas and adhesions.  Thankfully they are always good about trying to help me with my pain.  They told me to stop the Percocet (which I took as needed for breakthru pain) and gave me an instant release morphine, as I am already on an extended release morphine.  Also, I told them that my elbows are getting worse and worse (even though I have not ran a vacuum or mopped or anything repetitive with them lately) and I told them I couldn’t afford more injections, so they gave me oral steroids.  They also then told me to make sure I take Prilosec or some other stomach aid because my tummy may get irritated.  Alrighty.

So, I walked away from the clinic with the hopes that perhaps the new meds will atleast dull my different areas of pain, even if a little.  Got the scripts filled.  Came home, popped them in my mouth…and waited with great hope!  The faster release morphine did indeed dull the neuroma/adhesion pain more…this pleases me!  I took the 7 prednisones (it tapers down by 1 pill each day, til gone), but my elbows don’t feel better yet…but I didn’t expect them to, I guess.

So, as I was filling up my pill box (M>T>W>TH>F>S>SU), I began to ponder once again, the effect ALL these pills are having on my body.  Especially my liver and kidneys.  It certainly can’t be good, this any idiot knows.  I began to think was it worth it?  Damaging my kidneys/liver just to get some decent days?  To be able to do something other than lay in bed?  Before the meds, that’s about all I could do.  The meds do NOT take away all or even most of my pain…not by any stretch…but they do make it just tolerable enough to have some semblance of a life.  But if you look up all the side effects and drug interractions, it is very scary.  I am very careful with my meds, and look everyone of them up and check out the interractions and all…and it does worry me.  Alot. 

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I have given thought to just slowly stopping all the meds.  But the fear of that SEVERE pain I know is there, stops me cold.  There are many days … even on this plethora of meds, where I cannot move.  I can barely breathe.  I cry, or sometimes cry inwardly, because it hurts too much to cry outwardly.  I contemplate suicide.  I contemplate homicide…(of the quack that made me this way), jk…sorta, I of course would NEVER kill anyone, but boy what I wouldn’t give for that man to live with this intolerable pain for one solid month!!!  That would please me so very much.  I simply cannot conceive of stopping my meds.  I NEED them to continue to function, even if at half capacity.  Even if it takes years off my life, atleast I will have spent some years doing what I want to do, rather than being bedridden.

Therefore I won’t stop my meds.  If my kidneys and liver give out on me, then so be it.  I know some people worry about addiction to narcotics or opoids in general.  I have done extensive research on the subject, and I know if used properly, you will not be an “addict” in the generally known way…you may develop a “need” for them, and yes, you shouldn’t stop cold turkey, but if used as prescribed, you are not gonna turn into a junkie.

If most people look at all the meds I take, they would gasp in horror…but it is what it is…and for me it is my lifeline of sorts.  The only way I can be out amongst the “normals” of society…lol.  So, I thank God that I have a good pain doc that does and can prescribe these meds for people like me.  I just wish there would be something else to help the pain.  Even now, sitting here all drugged…I am hurting very, very much.  I don’t get it.  I cannot imagine what the pain has turned into, since I started the pain meds, for it to still be this intense on them.  GRRR!

This is not what “The Little Girl” dreamed her life was gonna be.  This I know.  Doctor G. C. … I hope you know what you have done to my life.  To my family’s life.  But I know you don’t give it a second thought, as you take your family vacations, go biking, walking, running, play golf, raquetball, tennis, swim, boat…carry your kids around, whatever.  You ARE living your life.  I am surviving mine.  Thanks a bunch asshole.

Tryin to keep my sanity…in an insane world.

watch this funny video about pain and hospitals:

Sucker Punched!

Just when you think you got a grip on all of lifes struggles….mine mostly pain related….you get sucker punched with something else.  I have an awful kidney infection, that could be potentially serious…am on yet ANOTHER round of antibiotics.  My kidneys hurt so bad I can barely walk today.  There is a possiblility there could be a stone involved as well.  All I know is I HURT.  Pain is of course VERY familiar to me…it seems that there isn’t much on my body that does not have some level of pain in it lately.  I am waiting for a call from a urologist, gotta go have a bunch of stupid tests done.  Hmm….what does that mean?  MORE MEDICAL BILLS that I cannot afford!!!  My GOD does it ever end?  I’ve had a continuous UTI since last Summer…been on so many antibiotics I can’t remember em all.  I shoulda went and been tested long ago I guess…let it go too long.  Trying to stop racking up bills.  Kept working right on through all the pain…when I knew I needed to see a specialist.  Such is my life.

It’s just unreal!  Screw it.  I give.  I am gonna go put the heatpad on my back and take a plethora of pills and give up on this stupid day.

Too old for pink polish?

Ok…I’m having one of those “Everything hurts and I’m emotional” days.  So, I wake up this morning, as soon as I moved I had to blink back tears.  I have tendon problems in both elbows from taking Levaquin last Summer for a UTI…it’s a side effect that alot of people don’t know about…it can cause tendon rupture…usually in the tendon on the back of your heel, but can occur in any tendon.  So, lucky me…it got my elbows!  Now, the incredible thing is, there isn’t much they can do about it!  I have had cortisone injections in them and taking oral steroids and worn braces, but nothing helps.  The pain is honestly excruciating!  I stopped complaining to the docs, because it seemed nothing could be done, other than surgery and they can forget that crap!

Anyway…back to the start of my day…so, as soon as I moved my arms I was about to cry due to the pain…but I sucked it up as usual…laid there and tried to slowly stretch all my limbs to loosen up.  Rolled over on my side to try to get my pain gripped body out of bed and of course the pain in my abdomen nearly caused me to drop to the floor when I stupidly tried to pull myself up to a sitting position, and the adhesions/scar tissue/neuromas in my belly screamed out LOUDLY.

I sit on the edge of the bed for a few minutes, my mouth is dryer than any desert (side effect of meds I assume), I take a drink of water, grab my pill box and start pulling out the morning meds, now this should be a smooth process, but is it?  No.  I have a “pouch” on my esophogus that little pills like to get caught in…so, I generally try to remember to take the little ones first so the bigger ones can catch them and push the little ones down…cuz if I don’t…they get caught and it turns into a big choking/retching episode that is not pleasant.  Well I was lost in pain and took the big ones first and of course one of the little ones got caught in the pouch!  Luckily I have learned to keep crackers in my nightstand to hurry and eat to push the damn pills down, so this is what I did.

So, at this point I have been up for about 10 minutes and already NOTHING has gone right for me.  I stand up, thinking “Does everyone feel this shitty in the morning?” I walk hunched over as I always must in the morning, cuz my abdomen hurts the most then I guess cause I move in ways I shouldn’t in my sleep…or because I’ve gone all night without pain meds…not a pretty look.  I get to the bathroom and I KNOW I still have that damn UTI…there is evidence…it makes me mad cause now I gotta call the doc and go in there and get more antibiotics or she is gonna make me go to a urologist or some dumb crap…more medical bills I don’t need.  Then I grab my toothbrush and brush my teeth, which are also a constant source of pain even after putting $7,000 in them a couple years ago…I cannot wait for them all to rot to the point some dentist will pull them and give me dentures!  I haven’t been able to chew on my right side for 3 years!  And I have an extreme phobia of the dentist, so that doesn’t help matters.

So, I get my cup of coffee…grab a piece of toast so there is something in my tummy for the meds.  My husband comes in with a gardening magazine and is showing me different flowers and plants he wants for the yard…I give my opinions and we have small talk.  I just happen to say “Honey, look at my fingernail polish!  Isn’t it pretty?”  Hoping for a “Yea, it is!” But instead, what I got was a weird look and a “That color polish is for a younger woman or girl! You’re too old for it.”  I was stunned….hurt….and PISSED!  WTF?  Too old for a bright pink polish?  How do you come to that conclusion?  And why would you say such a thing to your wife, who obviously liked the polish?

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It really was stupid, I know, but it hurt my feelings, and I went into immediate “Cold shoulder mode”….He just couldn’t understand why I got upset.  This is a man, who as I have stated in previous blogs is a saint for all he has had to do for me since the doctor butchered me in 2005/2006.  But…this is also the man  who rarely if ever gives me any kind of compliment.  In fact on our honeymoon he told me he didn’t ever want me to feel or think I was pretty.  Well, mission accomplished buddy.

So, then since my day was going so damn well, I went into my “Screw you, I am going to clean everything in this house and hope I die in the process!”  Insane?  Yep.  When I get mad, I clean.  My house is clean all the time anyway for the most part. So first I started dusting, then doing the windows then I got on the treadmill for about 15 minutes.  Pain?  Oh you betcha!  Pain that would put most people to the point of passing out.  The pain said, “You better sit the hell down, or I will sit your ass down!”  I sat down.  The tears started.  I got mad because I was crying.  I got mad because it hurts my abdomen to cry and to blow my nose.  I got mad that the doctor did this to me.  I got mad that I am getting older.  I got mad that my elbows hurt so bad I can’t lift a water bottle without major pain.  I got mad that I have to take a half cup of pills every day just to get by.  I got mad that I saw dirt on the floor that I can’t bend over to clean up properly.  I got mad that we are living in this house that I hate.  I got mad that on top of my chronic pain and chronic diseases, I also have to keep getting these damn urinary infections.  I got mad that I am heavier than I should be because I can’t exercise enought to lose weight, because of the pain.  I got mad that my husband insulted my PINK FINGERNAIL POLISH!

I then asked my daughter and her friend to run the sweeper, and to please change the sheets on my bed (it hurts me to push the sweeper and making my king size bed is also alot of bending and pulling that hurts too much), so they got that stuff done for me.  I gave my baby Daisy a bath, which she hates, but she smelled like she’d been rolling in dead bodies.  I took extra pain medication…took a shower and then laid down and prayed.  Prayed for the pain to subside…just a little.  My innerds felt on fire.  Like Freddy Kruger was in there sharpening his blades.  My elbows were throbbing.  I wanted to cry HARD.  Really let it out.  But I couldn’t, it would just cause more pain. 

Now it’s 11pm.  I’m laying here watching tv…sort of…and blogging.  My husband will be home from work soon.  Am I still gonna be giving him the cold shoulder?  Probably not.  He doesn’t get it anyway.  The fact that this new pink polish made me feel “pretty”, it made me happy.  Even though I am in pain and very ill…I still make an effort to look decent.  I put on makeup, do my hair, dress nice, wear jewelery, perfume, etc.  Some days I feel like “why bother?  you are a 43 y/o chronically ill, fat married ugly woman!”  But usually I DO make an effort.  I like to feel like “A Woman”…to feel pretty (even if clearly I fail)…Once in awhile I get a “look” from some stranger (male) and have been hit on here and there…go figure…but secretly inside, it makes me feel good!  Someone actually finds me attractive!  Wow!  But my husband doesn’t seem to…I know he loves me…there’s no doubt…but why he finds it so difficult to make me feel like a desirable woman, is beyond me. 


So tonight, I put on a 3rd coat of it!  And I put it on my toenails too!  So there!

“Truly, it is allowed to weep.  By weeping, we disperse our wrath; and tears go through the heart even like a stream.” Ovid

Thank you for taking time out of your busy lives to read my blog.  I appreciate all of you.

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Misunderstanding emails:

Have you ever had an issue with someone misunderstanding the content of an email you sent?  I have.  It is hard to see, hear, or feel the emotion intended in someones emails sometimes.  Although we all understand that all caps or lots of exclamation points means you are either mad or very excited or want to somehow make that point very clear.  But sometimes people get the wrong idea or the wrong message in an email.  And it can cause problems.

I am one of those people that when and if I think someone is misunderstanding my emails, I will try to break it down into very simple and FACTUAL terms.  I will state the facts very strait forwardly.  I don’t use all caps, as if I am angry or anything…but just reiterate the message behind the email.  For example, let’s say you sent me an email stating: “I am confused about the date you are having your party, I am sure you said the 22nd, but now you are saying the 23rd?”  I may then send a message such as this:  “Nope, it’s the 22nd just like I told ya.” Then you send me another that says “I seem to really remember you saying it was the 23rd, now I am very confused by this!” I may then email you this “Well, on April 15th I gave you the invitation that stated the party would be on the 22nd at 6pm, and you rsvp’d me back stating you would be able to attend.  I still have your rsvp if you would like to see it.”  Then I may get an email back such as this “Well!  If you are going to be that way about it, I won’t come to your stupid party!  You are obviously being snotty to me in your emails and I dislike your tone!  So screw you and your birthday!”  And I would then sit there and go “WTF?” 

So, it does teach one a lesson.  Sometimes people will “read” things into emails that are not there.  They confuse someone writing down basic informational facts as them somehow being rude to them in some way.  I can understand how it may happen in some situations…when you are talking in person, you can see the other persons expressions, hear the inflect or tone in their voice…where as in the written form you get none of that, it seems flat I guess.  I for one never assume anyone is being rude to me unless it is very evident or its all caps yelling type of message…ya know what I mean?
I like to corrospond by email.  It is convenient and I can type the message when I feel like it and the recipient can read it when they are able to.  I work, and at work I cannot have my phone with me.  Or sometimes I am just unable to talk on the phone, therefore I do use emails to communicate quite often and I have never, until recently, had anyone ever get confused as to my meaning in the messages.

Will I change how often I use emails?  No.  Why?  Because most people understand the emails and their meaning … I will however from now on, when I am messaging someone who seems to be getting the wrong idea through the messages, just stop messaging until I can speak to them over the phone or in person.  So, live and learn I always say.  I have learned that people communicate in different ways, and have different ideas or ways on interpreting others.

I love emails and texting!  I think they are a fabulous way to stay in touch with friends and loved ones!  But, word to the wise, be careful that the other person is completely understanding the “tone” of your message!  Because SOMETIMES some people will read things into your message that was never there, and blow it so far out of proportion it is forever lost in “communication confusion land” and cannot be understood by either party!

Have a glorious day everyone!  It’s like summer!  My pain levels are not too horrible today…thank You Jesus!  Gonna color easter eggs with Jeremy, Sarah, Vinny, Spencer, Jessica and her friend soon!  And have pizza!  What more could you ask for?  😉

Hugs and love to all my friends and family!  xoxoxoxo

“Find five things you are truly grateful to have today, and thank God for them!”