Archive | July, 2012

Happy Anniversary

31 Jul

One year ago today I became Mrs. Robert Charles Shivley.  I thank God daily for bringing Charlie into my life.  Over the last year we have been through a lot!  Nine days after marrying Charlie went in for his double by-pass.  Hard to believe that was almost a year ago.  Then I lost my job.  We have been dealing with the ramifications of that since September of last year.  What a blessing to be able to be married to a Christian man who walks with me through trials and who I know loves me.  We have made it through some tough stuff this last year, financially and health wise.  God has been right there with us through it all.  I have now known Charlie for 3 1/2  years and even when times have gotten a little rough, we have not had an argument in that entire time.    I know that is because we both lean on God for the help we need in tough times.  We have had many people who have helped us through this last year and they have all been blessings.  We have also had people who have made promises that have been broken, that was rather hard, but we have been praying for them.  God has taken care of all of our needs.  We may not have a pile of money, but we have eachother and God.  What more could I ask for.

Today we did have some good news, actually it’s kind of exciting news.  All of you have read about Charlie’s feet and the ulcer problems he has been having, well today we saw a new doctor.  He deals with neuropathy.  Charlie has had terrible neuropathy in both feet.  The pain often wakes him in the middle of the night and doesn’t allow him to get back to sleep.  The doctor evaluated Charlie today for a new procedure to help deal with the pain.  The procedure consists of a series of injections to the area just above the foot and then the application of pads to provide electrical impulses to the foot.  This helps to recondition the nerves in the foot and may help him to have feeling again.  Part of the reason the ulcers keep happening on his feet is that he can’t feel any sores or tenderness so he doesn’t know when they are happening.  If this works the feeling in the feet may be restored and would help to be able to catch the problems before they become ulcers.  It’s all kind of exciting!!  Charlie begins the 6 week treatment next week.  The shots are rather expensive but 80% is covered by medicare and the doctor told us not to worry too much about the co-pay (it’s $300 per shot).  He said they have many patients who, like Charlie, don’t have the supplemental insurance to pick up the co-pay.  They work with the patients to deal with the problem, but aren’t real worried about the balance.  We thought that part was awesome!!  We should know around week 4 if the procedure is working or not. 

Today is dialysis day.  Knowing that Tuesday is always a rough one for Charlie, we decided to celebrate our anniversary on Sunday.  Charlie took me to dinner at Red Lobster after church.  We had been given a gift certificate for Christmas, which we used but had $10 left on and then Red Lobster had a $10 off coupon on their website.  So our entire meal only wound up costing us $6.88.  Not bad for a 4 course dinner!! I do love coupons!  Then Charlie talked with the General Manager about the movie ministry.  The GM donated $20 worth of gift certificates for door prizes!  AND gave us a $10 gift certificate as an anniversary present.  That was pretty awesome.  We then came home and exchanged gifts.  I got the first two seasons of the series The Closer.  I gave Charlie the new Hallmark Christmas ornament – it was a 1936 fire truck.  We really need to find an inexpensive curio cabinet, we are running out of room on the entertainment center! We ended the day with a visit from Sam and Kailey (our granddaughters).  They spent the evening with us.  What a great day we had.

So, we do have a list of prayer requests.  There are a couple that are new:  1. Healing of Charlie’s foot.  2. Our finances (our lease is up in October and we have just been told there are some substantial rent increases.  Please pray that ours does not go up too much.)  3. Fundraising.  4. Pray for Charlie as the new semester will be starting on 8/27.  Pray that he will be able to get some walking in before the classes start.  5. Pray that the new treatment does work on his feet.  6.  A kidney or live donor.

I know I have said many times how much we appreciate y’all coming by.  It’s comforting to know that there are people out there praying for and with us as we continue on this journey.  Please continue to stop by and check on where we are and what’s happening.  Your prayers, and kind words are helpful, especially on the days where we run into road blocks, or frustration.   A million thank yous to all of you.

Blessings to y’all.

Charlie & Sherrie

Quiet Day

29 Jul

Hi All. 

Just a quick post to let y’all know that we are doing well.  Charlie had dialysis today.  Good session.  No bleeding.  He was quite tired so he slept a lot today. 

Kimberly came over and we cleaned the carpets while Charlie was at dialysis.  By the time he returned home they were just about dry.  That worked out well.  It was fun keeping Dalton entertained while the carpets were being done and while they were drying.  We let him play with Charlie’s fire engine.  He loves that.  He takes it into the bedroom and pushes all of the siren buttons and pretends he is a fireman like his Papa.  Charlie likes that.  🙂 

Oh, I think I had mention the progress we had made on the feet!  Well, we now are down to just bandaging the second to last toe on the left foot.  Once that heals we are done!!!  Hopefully we will hear about the shoes this week or next.  Until then he remains in the wheelchair to keep the pressure off of the foot (the toe especially.)   We are quickly rounding the bend to the new school semester so hopefully we will have the new shoes and can “practice” walking before we have to do the campus.  School starts August 27th.

Tomorrow afternoon we are going to lunch at Red Lobster to celebrate our first wedding anniversary.  Our anniversary really isn’t until Tuesday, July 31st, but we are celebrating tomorrow because Tuesday is always a hard dialysis day for Charlie.  It’s the only time he goes more than a day between sessions.  For that reason he is quite drained when he comes home that day.  So we decided better to do it on a day that is not a dialysis day.  So we will go after church tomorrow.  We are both looking forward to it.  I personally can’t beleive it’s already been  a year.  Looking back over the year it’s amazing all that has happened in that short of a time. 

Well, not much else to report.  Here are the prayer requests, no real changes:  1.  Charlie’s foot to heal.  2. Finances.  3.  Fundraising.  4. A kidney or live donor to come.

May each of you have a week full of blessings!!

Charlie & Sherrie

 

Progress!!!

25 Jul

Hi all,

Well, we now are down one more bandage on the foot.  The last one is the toe.  So we are making progress!!!!   It’s kind of exciting.  The toe looks good as far as color goes.  Just need it to heal and we are good to go.  When it’s done healing I’m gonna give both feet a bath in Vaseline!  Then they will be soft and supple and no more CRACKING.  It’s been since December that we have been dealing with this and Charlie and I are more than ready for the feet to be mended so we can walk again.  Right now we are still doing the wheel chair to keep the pressure off of the feet. 

School will start on August 27th, that’s the next big thing to be happening.  This week we have to arrange for books and things with the Division of the Blind.  They will assist in getting Charlie his books, which is great because he didn’t qualify for financial aid this time.  Hard to believe it’s already time for school to start.  Our 4 year old grandson, Dalton, will start school this year, that’s exciting too.   He is looking forward to it.  This year semester should be an interesting one for Charlie.  He will be taking English, First Aid and Spanish.  It will be fun.

This week we will also be discussing the fundraising with HelpHOPELive.  We have to find out if everything meets IRS guidelines for fundraising.  Then we have to find a good venue.  Once all of that is done we have to market…market….market this event.  It’s a tad overwhelming right now but I will make it through this.  God knows what we need and will provide it in due time. 

Tomorrow is dialysis day again.  Hopefully he will have a good session and be home on time!  Charlie is so not looking forward to it.  He is tiring of dialysis.  It wears him down so much now.  Please just keep him in prayer, for strength, and endurance. 

Here are the prayer requests:  1. Healing of Charlie’s foot.  2.  Finances.  3. Fundraising.  4. A kidney or live donor.  Well, that’s pretty much it for tonight.  Thanks for visiting and thanks for leaving messages and words of encouragement.  We hope that each of you are having a great week.

Blessings to all.

Charlie & Sherrie

 

Praising God!!

22 Jul

Hi All. 

Praising God for a wonderful night of ministry on Friday, July 20th.  Charlie started the movie ministry at our church called Oak Ridge After Dark.  We have been working diligently to try and get it off the ground and get people to come.  Last month we had 13 people in attendance.  Last night there were 26!!!!!  It’s wonderful to see God at work.  Charlie was so excited to see so many people attend.  It was great.  Awesome movie, awesome pizza, awesome baked goods, awesome door prizes, and absolutely awesome fellowship.  Made our week to see how God brought in all of those people.  We had everything ready and our ride scheduled and then at the last minute we had to find a Plan “B”.  All went well and we got there and home too.  Pizzas got picked up on time and then brought back piping hot.  It was great.  For the first time we actually had to pop more than one batch of corn.  🙂 

That was yesterday.  Today Charlie had dialysis.  Good session.  Things went well and shortly after he came home and ate our grandson Dalton stopped in for a while.  Mommy and Daddy had to go to WalMart and so Dalton hung out with us.  Papa stayed awake as long as he could and then it was off to napville for him.  Dalton and I hung out and played and colored and read some Bible Stories.  We had a great time.  Nothing like being able to share our God with our Grandson. 

So, Charlie’s foot is looking good.  May be able to lose the bandaid to another spot this week.  We shall see.  Now, if the toe would just heal and the new shoes would come, perhaps we could get out and walk!  That woudl be something different.  Speaking of feet, let me give this week’s prayer requests so I can sign off and get some sleep before church.  Here they are:  1. Charlie’s feet to heal.  2. finances.  3. Fundraising.  4. A kidney or live donor to present themselves.

Thanks to each of you who prayed for the movie ministry this week.  The prayers were felt and I believe answered as well.  May each of you have a blessed week.  Feel free to leave a message, it’s always nice to read a word or two.  Makes this whole walk a little easier to handle.

Blessings to all.

Charlie & Sherrie

Almost Friday….

20 Jul

Hi All,

Well another dialysis day.  Thankfully uneventful.  Things went well during the session and Charlie got home on time so all is well.  Today we did some more prep work for the movie night tomorrow.  Doesn’t seem like it’s already time for the movie night.  Charlie has a wonderful movie ministry at our church, he named it Oak Ridge After Dark.  It’s a wonderful ministry for the church and the community.  We show a family friendly movie the third Friday of every month.  It’s a great time of fellowship and entertainment.  The movies are shown at Oak Ridge Baptist Church, 10915 Vance Jackson, San Antonio, TX.  Doors open at 6pm and movie starts at 7pm.  All are welcome, admission and popcorn are free.  We also offer pizza at $1.00 a slice from 6pm to 7pm.  This is Charlie’s ministry and he has been working very hard to find donors to help pay license fees, donations for door prizes, and places willing to donate pizza.  He is enjoying working it and gets excited on Friday to see how manypeople God is going to bring in each time.

If you aren’t busy stop by for some pizza, a great movie and some great door prizes.

Our prayer request have not changed:  1. Charlie’s foot to heal.  2. Finances.  3. Fundraising.  4.  A kidney or live donor.

Speaking of fundraising:  I think most of you are aware that we are having to raise $50,000 to help pay for pre and post transplant expenses.  We have partnered with a non-profit organization called HelpHopeLive. They are going to be responsible for accepting all donations.  If they go through HelpHopeLive they will be tax deductable, and they won’t have to be reported as income for us.  The monies will be placed in a restricted fund under Charlie’s name to be used to pay the bills that are connected to the Transplant.  We will mail them the bills and they will pay them.  What a load off of our shoulders.  It’s great.  If anyone is interested in donating please go to helphopelive.org.  Then go to the “Find a Patient” box and type in Charlie Shivley.  It will take you to a secure page where you can make a tax deductable donation. 

We look forward to hearing from y’all.  Please feel free to leave a message or words of encouragement.  Both Charlie and I love to see them and we try to return a message as soon as we can.

Praying blessings for all of you.

Charlie & Sherrie

Can’t believe it’s been a year!!!

18 Jul

Hi y’all. 

Well not much to talk about today.  It was dialysis day and Charlie had a good session.  He came home and we had lunch, then off to bed he went for his nap.  He was pretty spent today. 

Today was a special day in our life.  One year ago today at the end of the church service Charlie proposed to me.  It’s on YouTube if you care to see it.  We put it there because my son was deployed to Africa with his National Guard unit, my daughter was living in Corpus and couldn’t get up here for it, and Charlie’s daughter lives in South Carolina, that and all of the other relatives that are all over the place were all able to see the proposal.  It was so meaningful to have him do it at church in fromt of our whole church family and God, how much more appropriate could it have been?  I was Charlie’s care provider for 2 1/2 years prior to the proposal.  We have sure had a busy, eventful time of it since the proposal.  We were married on July 31st of last year.  I wound up in the hospital for a few days on August 1st, then Charlie went in for a double by-pass on August 10th.  We have been in recovery pretty much since then.  Hard to believe it has already been a year! (The proposal is at YouTube under Charlie’s Proposal to Sherrie).  Funny how God puts you in a place and you don’t even realize things are happening until they slap you upside the head!

We worked a bit more on things for this Friday’s Movie night at the church.  So many little details that need to be taken care of so that oesthe movie night goes well.  Last month was the largest number of people that we have had thus far.  It’s kind of exciting to see how many God leads to these movies and so much fun to meet new people from the community that just drop in. 

Well, that’s really pretty much it for now.  We do hope that each of you has a week full of blessings.  Here are the prayer requests for today:  1. Charlie’s feet to heal.  2. Finances  3. Fundraising. 4. A kidney or live donor. 

Thanks for the prayers and comments….keep them coming!!

Blessings to all,

Charlie & Sherrie

Light at the end of the Tunnel…

17 Jul

Oh this foot!!!!  We were at the podiatrist again today.  I feel like that has become our home away from home.  Dr. Rutstein is an absolutely awesome doctor.  She takes the time to listen to the problems/questions.  She also is appreciative of the treatment that we are doing on the foot.  It really is coming along well.  We no longer have to bandage the top of the foot.  The side of the foot is finally almost healed.  So we are concentrating on the toe….well that was we were only concentrating on the toe.  There is now a blister that has formed near the original callus.  It should be fine but we are bandaging it so that it doesn’t burst and get infected.  As long as we continue the care it should be fine.  So, slowly but surely we are actually able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Dr. Rutstein feels that with elevation and no pressure we should be able to lick this very soon!  I, for one will be glad.  I love taking care of Charlie, but this foot thing is getting old!  Once this is all healed I think we should dunk both feet in vaseline to soften the skin and then there will be no more cracking and peeling.  The new shoes should be here in a couple of weeks and then we can maybe look at doing some light walking.  Hopefully this will happen before school starts next month.

This week is pretty much taken up with the Movie Night.  Charlie’s ministry at the church.  We show the movies the 3rd Friday of every month.  The ministry has started off sort of slow but has now started to grow.  It’s fun and a great time of entertainment at no charge to the community.  This week will consist of calling all of the people that we had at last months movie to remind them of this Friday.  Confirming the pizza order and pick up time.  Firming up who is doing what on Friday night.  Choosing what gifts are going to be door prizes (that’s my favorite part!).  Charlie does the majority of the reminder calls and the pizza order and I take care of the rest.  It’s wonderful to be able to work in a ministry with my husband.  I have not had that opportunity until now.  I look forward to the day that he finally finishes his schooling and has a church of his own.  It will be a challenge, but it will be wonderful to see him fullfill the goal that he feels God has set for him.

We are also going to work on getting the venue for the fundraiser.  This one is a little harder.  I have to get with the coordinator from HelpHOPELive and share the ideas we have for everything.  There is so much to do when coordinating something that isn’t just the folks that you know. We are looking at a much broader audience for this.  I know it will be great, but it’s going to be a lot of work and a whole lot of prayer!!!!

Well folks, that’s pretty much it for now.  Tomorrow is dialysis day!  We never know what those days will bring.  Hopefully it will be a good session and Charlie will do well.  Tonight he has a lot of fluid on him.  His feet and legs are swollen.  Monday nights are always like that for him as he goes two days between sessions instead of one. 

Anyway, that’s pretty much it for now.  Here are the prayer requests for today:  1.  Charlie’s foot to heal.  2.  Finances.  3. Fundraising.  4. Movie night.  5. A kidney or live donor. 

Thanks again to all who are following, praying, and have left ecouraging words and prayers.  Charlie and I both need the prayers and the positive thoughts daily.  We love to see comments so please feel free to leave them. 

Blessings to all.

Charlie & Sherrie

 

Slow Day…

11 Jul

Hi All,

Well it was a pretty uneventful day, with the exception of dialysis.  Charlie went for his regular 3 1/2 hour session.  Then waited for his ride.  They came but didn’t let him know they were outside waiting.  As a result he was about 40 minutes late getting home.  Therefore, his dinner was lukewarm by the time he got here. That’s so frustrating.  He enjoys a warm meal after dialysis.  We ate and then he went in for a nap.  All seems well now that he is up.  My daughter brought us some Vicks so tomorrow we will begin using it, I’ll keep you posted with results.  Now, if we can just get the foot healed enough so that we can slather the feet with vaseline.  Maybe these will be the answers to the foot problems.

Well, that’s about it for today.  Not much excitement.  Perhaps tomorrow will be a little more energized.

Today’s prayer requests really have not changed .  Here they are:  1.  Healing of Charlie’s foot (we did get to take one more bandage away today, so now we are down to two!!! Yeah!).  2. Finances.  3. Fundraising.  4.  The arrival of a kidney or a live donor. 

Thanks so much to all of you for dropping by.  We appreciate you taking this walk with us and all of the kind words and prayers.  You are all very much appreciated. 

Blessings to all.

Charlie & Sherrie

The Shoes….

10 Jul

Hi Everyone,

Well, today the “shoe lady” came.  She measured Charlie’s feet and placed the order for his new shoes.  Hopefully this will help to be the cure for the feet.  The woman said that these shoes are much softer and conform to the feet.  The inserts are not hard like the ones that he has from the shoes he got last year.  We are hopefully going to get them in a few weeks.  She also gave us a home remedy for toenail fungus…..Vicks Vapo Rub.  Yep, she said to put it on the nails and it will kill the fungus.  So, I guess we will try it and see what happens.  It will be a whole lot cheaper than buying another perscription and it won’t hurt his kidneys or liver.  We’ll let you know if it works.

We also finally found a talking blood pressure cuff.  It is a combination glucometer and blood pressure monitor.  We should have that by the end of the week.  The program will also just accept the Medicare payment for it and for the strips.  Kind of exciting to find someone willing to work with us and also to finally find the meter.  We have been trying to find something that Medicare would cover for quite a while.  Apparently they won’t cover the items if they are individual but they will if they are a combo!  One more hurdle finally crossed.  You would think that things like that would be easier to find, I mean Charlie can’t be the only one that is blind and has heart trouble.

So today was an okay day.  We managed to make it through another challenge and are another step closer to healing the feet.  Then, once the shoes come in we can get Charlie out of the wheelchair to do some walking.  That would be beneficial for both of us. 

The rest of this week will be spent working on finding a fundraising venue, door prizes, and a menu for our fundraiser.   We will also be working on getting ready for the Oak Ridge After Dark movie night.  Our next movie is July 20th.  We also need to fax Charlie’s school schedule to the Division for the Blind, so that they will assist him with his books for School.  He didn’t qualify for financial aid, still not sure if that was done right.  We also have a doctor appointment for Charlie to see if he will qualify for a procedure that will help with his peripherial vascular disease and the pain from neuropathy.  Be interesting to see exactly what that procedure is.  He has been having quite a bit of pain from neuropathy lately.  If this is something that is not invasive perhaps it will solve that problem.

Well folks, that’s about it for today.  Here are the prayer requests:  1. Healing of Charlie’s foot.  2.  Finances.   3. Fundraising.  4. Preparation for school.  5. New doctor appointment.  6. A kidney.

Thanks for coming by everyone.  We appreciate the kind words, prayers and visits. 

Blessings to you all.

Charlie & Sherrie

Challenges…..

8 Jul

Hi All,

Sorry for the delay in posting.  Sherrie has been sick with a stomach virus.  When she’s down things on here are on hold. We hope you had a great Fourth of July and a super week.

So, I am back from illness.  Still a little queasy today.  Charlie is doing okany.  He’s a wee bit tired but okay.  I went to dialysis with him yesterday and had a wonderful time talking to all who know him there.  They are kid of like his second family.  Slowly but surely I am getting to know them better.  There are quite a few who have a great deal of respect for Charlie.  One woman has been doing dialysis for 18 years.  Her husband is also a patient at the same clinic, they are on opposite sides of the room so that if something happens to one the other won’t be right there to see it.  They like it better that way.  Now, there are a  lot of things that I really love to share with Charlie, but dialysis would not be one of them.  I love him dearly, but watching him have to deal with the 3 days a week, 3.5 hours a session and then coming home to weak to do anything else for most of the day isn’t something I think I would enjoy.  Dialysis pretty much runs our lives.  We cannot go away for any length of time because of it.  In order to go away we have to schedule dialysis in the area we would be visiting, then make sure that the blood work is transmitted to the dialysis clinic in the area of our trip.  If this is not done they cannot do the dialysis which he needs to be able to function.  We have to schedule anything we want to do around the dialysis session, and the rest time afterwards, this pretty much wipes out 3 out of 7 days of any vacation.  It’s easier to stay home and call people on the phone to see how they are doing.  The kidney diet also is tough for Charlie.  It pretty much restricts him from almost all of his favorites.  He loves beans, rice, collards, corn, potatoes…..typical southern cuisine.  All of these are on the no no list….the list is very long.  Add this to the diabetic diet and the cardiac diet and you are very limited.  Makes cooking for him a challenge.  Every once in a while the day before a dialysis day we will do the collards or maybe oven baked potato slices but not often.  There are some foods that you can soak in water to try and leech some of the potassium out of them, this makes the foods safer for him.  Too much potassium is very bad for the heart.  He also has to avoid sugar, phosphorus, and fats.  Sometimes figuring out meals that aren’t just repeated over and over becomes a full time job! 

Then you have the skin, especially the feet.  As a diabetic it’s very important to check feet on a daily basis.  Being blind he can’t do this, he can feel the feet but with the neuropathy in his hands he sometimes misses things.  He also has neuropathy in his feet, this makes it so that if he does hit them or step on something, he very often does not feel it.  This is a very dangerous thing because, being a diabetic, he doesn’t heal very quickly.  Having open wounds can be an open door for germs and infection to set in.  These can quickly become ulcers and can increase in size rather quickly withour proper treatment.  Charlie’s skin on his left foot is very fragile, so checking daily and caring for skin wounds immediately has to be done daily!  I have learned lots about wound care this year, and if I do say so myself, I am pretty good at it.  The other thing we have to be careful of is sugar levels.  These directly affect many things.  Kidneys are taxed with high sugars and elevated blood pressures.  Both sugar levels and blood pressures have to be checked several times through out the day.  Insulin has to be administered before each meal and also at bedtime.  Oral meds are administered morning and night to help regulate blood pressure.  It’s a constant battle to make sure that things stay level. 

As you can see it’s not easy for someone with End Stage Renal Disease.  There are many things that you have to do on a regular basis to make sure that you are healthy enough to get the kidney that you are desperately and patiently waiting for.  The quality of life will be much better once Charlie gets his kidney, but it won’t be a whole lot easier as far as a schedule goes, at least not in the beginning.  Once you have that kidney there is care for that that has to be done.  It’s not just, OKAY, I got the kidney now I am all set.  Nope, then you have to take certain precautions to make sure that kidney has an opportunity to make your life be sort of normal.  There won’t be so many restrictions on diet.  Charlie will be able to eat the things he so misses now, he will be able to travel without worrying about scheculing dialysis.  BUT  he will also have many doctor appointments, to check blood levels and make sure the anti-rejection meds are working.  He will also be able to get off of some of the drugs he is currently on, BUT he will have 5 new drugs that are to keep the body from rejecting that new kidney.  The drugs are all very expensive.  He will have to make extra sure the blood pressure and sugars stay regulated so as not to stress the new kidney. 

I know a lot of you probably were already aware of all of the above, but I also know there are many of you who were not.  I hope this gives you just a glimpse of what Charlie deals with on a pretty consistent basis.  Not an easy life but he takes it all in stride and remains pretty postitive.  A lot of that has to do with his faith in God and knowing that God already knows where the kidney is coming from.  That is not to say that every now and then he gets a little discouraged, especially if he has too much time to think about things.  But he gets through those bumps in the road and moves on.  I so respect and admire him for that.  In many ways he is an inspiration to many, many people. 

Here are today’s prayer requests:  1. Healing of Charlie’s foot, special emphasis on his toe.  2. Our finances.  3. Fundraising.  4. A Kidney or live donor.   5. People to visit helphopelive.org and donate to the fundraising account.

Thanks for stopping by folks.  Thanks also for your prayers and kind thoughts, those help to make the days easier, and brighter.

May your week be filled with blessings.

Charile & Sherrie

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