"Winter Snowman" (c) M. Pruitt 2007
"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
Tomorrow, I will begin posting some detailed descriptions of my days at Vanderbilt - for those who are interested in what it was like and what they did.
But for now, let me just tell you some of the things I feel I have come away with.
~Sleep Study: I really needed to have a sleep study done. Having had it at Vanderbilt gives me two great advantages (besides it being free). First, my results will advance the understanding of sleep disturbances in dysautonomia patients. Second, my personal results will be seen and evaluated by the Autonomic specialists. I will probably still need to see a Sleep Specialist here at home, but I feel good about having the issues evaluated by those who understand the Autonomic issues.
~Medications: There are no miracle pills, but they did do an extensive evaluation of my current medications. And they have suggested a few adjustments that may help in the management of my symptoms.
~Full cardio evaluation: Doctors who specialize in POTS seem to fall into one of two specialties: cardiology or neurology. The specialists at Vanderbilt are cardiologists. I had intensive evaluation of my cardio health - including a 24 hour heart rate and blood pressure monitor, and an exercise test. During the exercise test, I laid down on a recumbent bicycle. I had an EKG monitor as well as monitors evaluating my oxygen use and the health of my heart. I petaled the bicycle as long as I could (while they increased the resistance). When I was exhausted, I then sprinted as hard as I could. (I imagined I was racing my Dad home during those teenage years when we took long bike rides together. BTW - I won!) After this test, they gave me a full evaluation of my cardio health and advice on how to continue to keep in shape while handling my excessively high heart rate. This has given me greater confidence in how to exercise and guidelines to keep myself safe.
~Helping advance the understanding of this illness: This may not sound that important, unless you have this illness. There is just such limited understanding of it, and very few doctors working with it. It's not that common so it doesn't have a high profile and is not highly funded. So to be a part of the research that Vanderbilt is doing is very important to me.
A great big THANK YOU to all of you that prayed for me and to all of you that sent me mail. I really enjoyed mail call each day. One day, the Doctor brought my mail by and joked about the patients getting more mail than he does!
Goodnight for now. I'm going to sleep well in my own bed tonight!
Click here to see it on eBay
I don't often create abstract - but every once in a while it just seems to come out. This is my first attempt at using Oil Pastels. As I began, I knew I wanted to paint a cross - as I listened to a new worship CD a dear friend has sent me. But what exactly it would look like I didn't know.
It's titled "Strength". Though the cross at first appears to be falling over, you can see it's solidness in the shadow. And the clouds over head, though darkening the sky, are highlighted with bright gold and sunlit streaks are allowed through. The golden streaks appear as rain - and yet are lit up like sunshine.
Though life is difficult and we may face unexpected trials, the power of God is strong and holds us secure. This irony - things look bad, but God has a good plan - is what this piece of art represents.
I continue to hold onto this hope. Here are the words of a song on my new CD that have really encouraged me this week...
I can do these little needle felting designs easily while I listen to my audiobooks - I just received a George MacDonald and CS Lewis book from the library PLUS a couple of my friends have been passing around a good audiobook and it's my turn to listen to it!
Prayer requests? Well... patient endurance... and guidance in medical decisions.
Thanks for praying for me and checking in!
PS: If you want to know more about how I do these needle felted ACEO's - check out my art blog click here. Oh and BTW - just in case you didn't know - and ACEO is a miniature piece of art that measures 2.5"x3.5" , just like a trading card. They are very collectable!