We did not get our garden put in. I have a small container herb garden with basil, oregano, lavender, and rosemary. I may add to that since I can winter them indoors. And we have one lonely tomato plant in a large pot. Unfortunately my husband's medications were causing an interaction, and most of May was spent in bad days rather than good days as far as his health went. The whole month is kind of a blur, and any homemaking/homesteading efforts were put off to take care of us as a family first. We do have the chickens though. One, who remained much smaller than her fellow coopmates, did not survive the first heat wave of summer. I am afraid she was just too weak and small to deal with the temperature change. So we now have four hens. I am thinking of trying to find two more to add so we get back to our original six.
The Coop, and one of our clothesline poles.
The biggest thing in May was we have an official diagnosis! Not the constant "we think it is this," "no, wait, now it's this," or "we don't know what's causing the pain, but it'll probably be there forever." An actual, verifiable by tests, diagnosis. Praise God! He has what is known as Syringomyelia. Simply put, there is a cavity in his spinal cord (not column, but the cord itself) that is filled with cerebrospinal fluid. There is no cure for it, and we are unsure right now what caused it. Sometimes an injury could cause it, but neither of us can recall an injury between when he had an MRI that showed nothing, and when this pain started. Sometimes there can be something blocking the normal flow of fluid that can be the cause. This could be his case, but we don't know. Or it could be idiopathic in nature, and just simply be there. The orthopedist who discovered this described a surgery to drain the syrinx (the name of the cyst), and referred us on to a neurosurgeon. We meet with him July 5th. Twenty three days.
The emotional roller coaster of this entire journey is taxing to say the least. On my husband even more than me. I am constantly in awe of him for being strong through this and for his main concern being caring for the kids and I. Both of us are hopeful that this surgery can be done quickly, and that it will help at least get his pain to a manageable level. He has progressed to using a wheelchair outside of the house. Which is good because we can get out of the house and he can do stuff with us and not pay for it with days in bed in even more pain. Because he CAN do everything he used to, but it will knock him down for a long time afterward. Using the wheelchair has given us the chance to resume taking walks at night and going to the zoo.
Kelton (hubby) and Zane (6m) heading to the library.
In another case of God being so, so good to our family, we were able to get a mobility scooter. For free. I found one on Craigslist halfway between here and where I needed to drive to register for college. We need to figure out how to get batteries for it so he can use it. I am putting one of my camera lenses on eBay, and picking up my massage table from a friend this week to sell. If just one of those sells, it should buy both the batteries we need. Once he can use that, we can go even more places, and for longer walks. Not that I mind pushing the wheelchair when we go out, it is certainly getting these legs of mine in shape! But the hills at the zoo are no match for a wheelchair, so we have to stick to the main buildings...this would give us more freedom.
Our girls are on a vacation with my mom and her husband. Tonight they were eating out in San Francisco. I am doing well at hiding my jealousy. ;) At a time when we can't provide them with a vacation, this is such a great opportunity for them! We are just happy that they are having so much fun, and waiting for them to get home. The house is far too quiet and I miss their chaos! Last week they had their dance recital. Well, the two big girls did, that is. They did so amazing! I love their studio, and they are both looking forward to returning in the fall.
Reese (4), Myself, Zane (6m),
and Anna-Lee (6, and grumpy from stage fright) before recital.
I am applying for full-time overnight work. Praying I find something quickly. Kelton has started the process of applying for disability since we don't know after he has this surgery how long it could take to heal or how much improvement he can even reasonably expect. I start classes on July 11th. I did manage to get all 3 classes (English Comp 1, Public Speaking, and Structure & Function of the Human Body) online. It's a very...serious course load, but I'm up for the challenge. Kelton and I are both committed to getting ourselves and the kids on a better schedule and routine, so I'm fitting homework into that so I have no excuses.
The next few months are going to bring so much change. Surgery. School for me. Our two oldest will begin public school in August. Kelton will continue to heal and progress. Last night we tried talking about where we saw ourselves in a year, two years, five years, etc. We couldn't do it. Because there is SO much that we just can't even pretend to know how to plan for. But, through it all, we have faith. Faith that God is good. We have to believe that He is using this all to better our lives. Already, though we have had very trying times, we've also had so many blessings. People in our lives at just the right times, and things happening that we could have never had happen without some divine intervention.