The Coffee Hour – Mental Health Monday: Industry, Identity, and Vocation

Deaconess Heidi Goehmann, LCSW, joins Andy and Sarah to talk about industry and purpose, industry versus inferiority, identity and vocation, and finding our identity and purpose in Christ.

Hear Mental Health Mondays each Monday at 9am CT! Find all episode with the tag “Mental Health Monday.” View Deaconess Heidi’s Mental Health Playlist on Youtube and find all of her writings at heidigoehmann.com.


The Coffee Hour is underwritten by Concordia University Wisconsin. Live Uncommon. Learn more at cuw.edu.

Have a topic you’d like to hear about on The Coffee Hour? Contact Andy Bates at andrew.bates@kfuo.org or call 314-996-1519.

The Coffee Hour – Mental Health Monday: Industry, Identity, and Vocation

Deaconess Heidi Goehmann, LCSW, joins Andy and Sarah to talk about industry and purpose, industry versus inferiority, identity and vocation, and finding our identity and purpose in Christ.

Hear Mental Health Mondays each Monday at 9am CT! Find all episode with the tag “Mental Health Monday.” View Deaconess Heidi’s Mental Health Playlist on Youtube and find all of her writings at heidigoehmann.com.


The Coffee Hour is underwritten by Concordia University Wisconsin. Live Uncommon. Learn more at cuw.edu.

Have a topic you’d like to hear about on The Coffee Hour? Contact Andy Bates at andrew.bates@kfuo.org or call 314-996-1519.

The Coffee Hour – Mental Health Monday: Industry, Usefulness, and Purpose

Deaconess Heidi Goehmann, LCSW, joins Andy and Sarah to talk about how industry is about more than just usefulness and contribution, what it means to talk about being good, and how true goodness comes from God.

Hear Mental Health Mondays each Monday at 9am CT! Find all episode with the tag “Mental Health Monday.” View Deaconess Heidi’s Mental Health Playlist on Youtube and find all of her writings at heidigoehmann.com.


The Coffee Hour is underwritten by Concordia University Wisconsin. Live Uncommon. Learn more at cuw.edu.

Have a topic you’d like to hear about on The Coffee Hour? Contact Andy Bates at andrew.bates@kfuo.org or call 314-996-1519.

The Coffee Hour – Mental Health Monday: Industry, Usefulness, and Purpose

Deaconess Heidi Goehmann, LCSW, joins Andy and Sarah to talk about how industry is about more than just usefulness and contribution, what it means to talk about being good, and how true goodness comes from God.

Hear Mental Health Mondays each Monday at 9am CT! Find all episode with the tag “Mental Health Monday.” View Deaconess Heidi’s Mental Health Playlist on Youtube and find all of her writings at heidigoehmann.com.


The Coffee Hour is underwritten by Concordia University Wisconsin. Live Uncommon. Learn more at cuw.edu.

Have a topic you’d like to hear about on The Coffee Hour? Contact Andy Bates at andrew.bates@kfuo.org or call 314-996-1519.

SPINRAZA THIS WEEK

This was one of those busy weeks. In preparation for taking Spinraza, I had to rearrange my medications. No blood thinner when I’m getting punctured in the spine. Even though I have been through this several times, I always feel a small amount of stress. Things CAN go wrong even in the best of settings. For the most part, though, I was fairly confident that things would get done quickly. Granted, I don’t really enjoy being NPO for after midnight, but it really isn’t a huge problem. I Have certainly faced worse.

The trip down was uneventful. Traffic seemed fairly light. I can’t tell if it was really due to coronavirus or whether it was just a good traffic day. Downtown seemed kind of sad, although I guess it was more the medical center itself then downtown. We some more of that on the way home. It just seemed like fewer people were around, of course they all were masked. They also seemed a little bit sadder, if you could tell by their posture while walking around the campuses of all those hospitals.

We probably got there about 15 minutes before I thought we would. I always budget extra time for finding the parking lot, it’s usually horrible. I may not have needed to, but I don’t know. The parking lot was not empty, but it was not difficult to find a parking place. There were fewer people around waiting to use the elevators that led to the place where you could walk across the sky walk. We answered some questions about whether we thought we had Covid, they took our temperatures, and sent us on our way.

We made it to the waiting room in record time, this time we didn’t turn the wrong way. There were about one third as many chairs available for patients as usual and everyone was being correctly distant. And then we waited and waited some more. We got back to the pre-procedure area and I got my hospital gown on. Then we waited for a bedpan so they could sample the urine to make sure the Spinraza wasn’t affecting my kidneys. Then we waited for them to access my port so they can do blood work. Then we waited for all the lab work to come back.

The nurses and the doctor came to discuss with me about the procedure – making sure I knew what I was getting into. I pretty much described to them what they were going to do and how long it was going to take. Then we waited, I’m not sure what we were waiting for this time but it was part of the procedure.

I went to the CAT scan room and they positioned me. They tried to comfort me but I really didn’t think that was necessary, I have mastered lying still. The doctor came in, I was mildly sedated (very mildly, by my own request), and they figured out how the needle was going to work around all my spinal instrumentation. (I have to admit, I think CAT scans are a nifty tool, and I like seeing the pictures afterwords.) When they inserted the needle, I was a little uncomfortable in my thigh this time. It is SO weird what happens when they brush against a nerve! Anyhow, the procedure itself took about three minutes, but I was back in that room for about 15 or so minutes?

I got back to the room and got dressed. Oh yeah, they introduced me to the PureWick device. I couldn’t use it then, I’ve been without any liquid since midnight the night before. I drank an instant breakfast so I at least have SOME nutrition in my system. Then I had to wait for them to de-access my port and get papers to go home.

This is the longest amount of time it ever took to do a Spinraza’s dosing. We got into the parking garage at maybe 11:10 AM. We did not leave the parking garage until 4:50 PM. Then we got to face Houston Medical Center and downtown area traffic. Such FUN! After nearly running down some suicidal bicyclists who almost deliberately ran in front of the car, we got to the HOV lanes. It was not incredibly bad, except that just as we came to it, FM 1488 had an accident that really messed up traffic. We found another way home and I ate pizza for dinner.

 

Next Week, at about This Time, My Fundraiser Should Be Finishing

There are so many folks who need additional help with funding medical needs! I found a group who helps with that. Take a look at HELP HOPE LIVE.

They are helping me get that bed funded, and there is a lot of creativity behind this. We are doing a Star Trek Movie Marathon watch party on Facebook. We are each getting a copy of my favorite trilogy of the classic movies, watching them in comfort of our own home, and discussing it online.

A link to the Star Trek marathon fundraiser https://helphopelive.org/campaign/17488/
Come to my Star Trek themed fundraiser.

Lisa PLAYS: Dungeons & Dragons

In the time of Covid 19, I’m getting to experiment with entertainments I’ve wanted to try, but haven’t taken time for. I’ve heard of Dungeons & Dragons for decades, and sort of played for a short session or two, but not enough to know whether I really like the game. So… I discovered Roll20, a virtual gaming tabletop.

I couldn’t find a group that was comfortable with beginning players that met at a convenient time. Almost all of the games lasted way too long for me! When it comes to fun things, my attention span can be shorter than what a squirrel would have on crack cocaine.

There probably are a lot of things that I don’t know about the website. I’ve seen videos talking about horrible things that the owners/runners have done for all kinds of nefarious purposes. I just haven’t seen any of that myself.

They are open to all sorts of games. After I tackle Dungeons & Dragons, I may try DIALECT or DENIABLE or one of the space-related games.

ANYHOW, I couldn’t find a group that met my needs and interests. Instead, I decided to invite a few friends and running a game myself. TALK about the blind leading the blind! Only one of my players has ever played before and I don’t know what I’m doing. This should be GREAT! I’m learning mapping skills, plotting for games instead of stories, and all sorts of other things that I didn’t know I needed to know to have a full life!

I’m also getting to explain concepts to people. For example, alignment… To a group of LCMS Lutherans… I’m just having to explain that good and evil in this game isn’t exactly like good and evil in our universe. As part of the explanation I’m using this website http://easydamus.com/character.html and this is the result of the quiz asking what my character would be if I was a Dungeons & Dragons character:

You Are A:

Neutral Good Human Cleric (7th Level)

Ability Scores:
Strength- 8
Dexterity- 9
Constitution- 11
Intelligence- 15
Wisdom- 16
Charisma- 13

Alignment:
Neutral Good- A neutral good character does the best that a good person can do. He is devoted to helping others. He works with kings and magistrates but does not feel beholden to them. Neutral good is the best alignment you can be because it means doing what is good without bias for or against order. However, neutral good can be a dangerous alignment when it advances mediocrity by limiting the actions of the truly capable.

Race:
Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.

Class:
Clerics- Clerics act as intermediaries between the earthly and the divine (or infernal) worlds. A good cleric helps those in need, while an evil cleric seeks to spread his patron’s vision of evil across the world. All clerics can heal wounds and bring people back from the brink of death, and powerful clerics can even raise the dead. Likewise, all clerics have authority over undead creatures, and they can turn away or even destroy these creatures. Clerics are trained in the use of simple weapons, and can use all forms of armor and shields without penalty, since armor does not interfere with the casting of divine spells. In addition to his normal complement of spells, every cleric chooses to focus on two of his deity’s domains. These domains grants the cleric special powers, and give him access to spells that he might otherwise never learn. A cleric’s Wisdom score should be high, since this determines the maximum spell level that he can cast.

Detailed Results:

Alignment:
Lawful Good —– XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (24)
Neutral Good —- XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (27)
Chaotic Good —- XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (18)
Lawful Neutral — XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (22)
True Neutral —- XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (25)
Chaotic Neutral – XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (16)
Lawful Evil —– XXXXXXXXX (9)
Neutral Evil —- XXXXXXXXXXXX (12)
Chaotic Evil —- XXX (3)

Law & Chaos:
Law —– XXXXXXXXX (9)
Neutral – XXXXXXXXXXXX (12)
Chaos — XXX (3)

Good & Evil:
Good —- XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (15)
Neutral – XXXXXXXXXXXXX (13)
Evil —- (0)

Race:
Human —- XXXXXXXXXXXXXX (14)
Dwarf —- XXXXXXXX (8)
Elf —— XXXXXXXXXX (10)
Gnome —- XXXXXXXXXXXX (12)
Halfling – XXXXXXXXXXXX (12)
Half-Elf – XXXXXXXX (8)
Half-Orc – (0)

Class:
Barbarian – XXXX (4)
Bard —— XXXX (4)
Cleric —- XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (18)
Druid —– XXXXXXXXXXXX (12)
Fighter — XXXXXXXXXXXX (12)
Monk —— XXXXXXXXXXXXXX (14)
Paladin — XXXXXXXXXXXXXX (14)
Ranger —- XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (16)
Rogue —– XXXX (4)
Sorcerer — XXXXXXXX (8)
Warlock — XXXXXXXXXXXX (12)
Wizard —- XXXXXXXXXXXXXX (14)

 

Easter in Time of Corona Virus

body wrecked in grave clothes, lying in a tomb, with the words, "and on the seventh day, God rested."
And on the Seventh Day, God Rested-Easter Vigil 2020

Yeah, I know. Easter is tomorrow and we are celebrating it rather oddly. Most of us are staying home, live streaming services from what looks like an empty church. A few congregations have found creative ways to gather, like parking-lot services.

Of course, even the smallest of these gatherings is attended by “Angels and Archangels and All the Company of Heaven,” to laud and magnify Eternal God.

Easter services are tomorrow, but I had the privilege of virtually attending Easter Vigil, a somewhat different church service. For starters, it is something of a marathon service. More Scripture is read in this one setting that some people here in one year. Several people have done a better job of explaining it than I will, here are a few of the best:

  • This is a somewhat lighthearted and definitely nerdy explanation. Don’t worry, it is not irreverent. It is a blog post compares Vigil to an Entmoot. (Even if you haven’t read Tolkien’s works, it explains it well enough for the non-nerdy.)
  • Here is an hour-long podcast from Issues, Etc. featuring Will Weedon (NOT Wil Wheaton from Star Trek, next-generation!)
  • This is a lovely hymn, AWAKE MY HEART WITH GLADNESS sung by a sweet-voiced young woman. (Yes, you really need all the verses. It’s the difference between reading as savory trilogy and reading a bumper sticker.) 😉
  • Here is the bulletin from my church2020-04-11 Easter Vigil
  • … And here is the service itself…

It’s Spinal Muscular Atrophy Month

 It's just me, my face, and I celebrating Spinal Muscular Atrophy Month

It’s just me, my face, and I celebrating Spinal Muscular Atrophy Month

I’m behind, and August has barely started! It is SPINAL MUSCULAR ATROPHY month. Yes, it is still weird to me to celebrate a disease, but celebrating people who have rich and full lives with SMA is kind of cool.

In case you don’t know much about it, here is a decent article from a reputable website:
What is SMA from Cure SMA

You can also ask any question about living with a neuromuscular disorder. Feel free to put it in my comments. I will either answer privately or publicly.

Many tools are available to make life with SMA easier now than it was when I was younger. For example, breathing treatments have kept me from several rough situations that I faced. My tracheostomy tube is one of my best friends, pulling mucus out of my lungs when I sound like I have inhaled an aquarium.

It’s better than listening to my doctors predicting my death since I was 2 years old!

Some of the things are a little bit pricey. One of the lateral turning rotation beds would be a wonderful tool for my respiratory system and preventing blood clots. Unfortunately, it costs as much as a car. Still, you have got to look at this:
ProBed FREEDOM BED
https://www.pro-bed.com/

Since it costs so much, I decided to treat it like a car and get a used vehicle. Then my church stepped in and is going to help with this:

Zion Fundraiser Annual Ribs Cookoff and Pie Contest Hosted by Zion Lutheran Church, Tomball, TX
1st Annual Ribs Cookoff and Pie Contest Hosted by Zion Lutheran Church, Tomball, TX

My Face Is Tired!

I’m not really in the mood to write anything today, probably because I am a little bit tired and my jaw is recovering.

Photo on VisualHunt.com

You see, I had speech therapy today. Emily (my speech therapist) is trying to help me strengthen my swallowing muscles. It was an interesting session. It started out with her massaging along my entire jawbone on both sides. It was pressure where my jaw connected to the skull, until that relaxed a little bit. Then, she worked the connective tissue and muscles down the side toward the jawbone.

Then we did some swallowing exercises. First was EFFORTFUL SWALLOW. I had to swallow fast and hard, using ALL of my throat muscles. Believe it or not, that’s tricky to do. I’m supposed to do a minimum of 30 of those per set.

Next came TONGUE HOLD. There’s two ways to do that one. When I’m alone, I need to stick my tongue out between my teeth and swallow while holding my tongue in place. I never got that one completely right, I kept giggling. The other version is to stick my tongue out and have somebody else grab it. (Only really good friends are going to want to try that, even with paper towels and gloves. This exercise needs to happen in sets of 10.

Then came JAW OPENING. It sounds like just what it is: open my mouth is wide as I can and stretch for 3 seconds. This one happens in sets of 10.

Then came LINGUAL RESISTANCE. I’m supposed to press my tongue hard against a tongue depressor, first on the left and then the right. This happens in sets of 10, too.

Finally came LINGUAL RANGE OF MOTION. I had to stick my tongue out as far as I could, and hold it there for 3 seconds. Then I had to move it all the way to the left, all the way to the right, all the way up, and all the way down. I was supposed to hold it for 2 seconds at each position. This is supposed to happen in sets of 10. (I’ll probably be quite popular among little kids and simians…)

So… My face had a workout. My face is tired. And that’s HYSTERICAL to me.

Photo on VisualHunt.com