Wednesday, July 30, 2008

As for our house....

Although this photo was taken early this year at Murray's Mill in Catawba County, I really wanted to blog it tonight! It was so great to be back in church tonight, Ben has had a wonderful energy surge over the last few days, with things getting back to a bit of normalcy. After his Eye Surgery at the first of the month for the torn retina, he is healing nicely, although still on the meds. We go back to Duke next Wednesday, so be in prayer for us as we travel and trust in good news from the specialist!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

First Photography Expo!

Last Friday was my first public Photography Expo in Lincolnton! I featured a raffle for a free Photo Session and prints, which was very exciting and productive! Congrats to the sweet girl who won the session, I can't wait to shoot your photos! Maybe you'll see who won in the coming weeks, just keep checking back at the blog!

Also, I designed these great note cards with some of my nature and miscellaneous photography, dawning a KJV scripture on the bottom. I also came up with some interesting monogramed cards! I'm so excited to see where this goes, contact me if you are interested in purchasing more of these encouraging cards!

There was all kinds of displays set up last Friday, YOU NAME IT! We had so much fun all day long. I'm so thankful for the opportunity to have met so many wonderful people, hopefully I'll see them all again soon!

A special thank you - to Christa, Sarah & Tasha - for all your hard work and Laughter throughout the day!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday: Photo of the Day

This afternoon for lunch, Ben's Grandma Gabriel had us over to eat! Along with John Sr., Momma Jane and Bro. Brumley, we relished in Grandma's wonderful cooking. She is such a Godly example to me, I'm so thankful for her loving maternal spirit.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wednesday Bloggin'

Hi everyone! Hope you are all having a great week, so far! Everything is pretty much the same here. Ben had a check up today at Graystone Eye in Hickory. Dr. Williams said that everything looks good. Obviously, the reason Ben is so tired all the time is because of some of the meds he is taking. That would explain A LOT. We'll go back to Duke August 6th for another Post-Op Evaluation. Ben is hoping to start back teaching next week, he really misses his students! He has been resting a little better this week, so I'm hoping that will help his energy levels throughout the day, as well.

I wanted to post a photo of all our sweet neices and nephews! Our youngest is 2 and the oldest is 8! They are all a joy to be with!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Weekend Warrior

I realized just now how long it's been since I've posted on here! Well....since Wednesday....
We went back to see Ben's doctor at Duke on Wednesday morning, got up before dawn and made it to our 8:00 am appointment in Durham. Dr. Jaffe was encouraged, he said everything looked good. Although we got a good report, I have to admit...I was a little disheartened by hearing that it will be around 3 months and Ben has to go back in to have the protective silicone taken out. He has decent vision now, blurry because of the silicone, but it's vision-thank heavens.

Thursday was a pretty good day. Honestly, Ben just kinda hangs around here in the house, going from the living room to the bedroom, trying to relax his neck and back as much as possible. {he has to maintain the head down/face down position most of each hour} Ben decided that he thought he could make the coming weekend's singing at Cove Creek on Saturday and Sunday. Sooo, we started thinking and planning. We called our friend, Fred, up on Beech Mountain about a 30 minute drive from the concert's locale up winding mountain roads and arranged to stay in the Guest Quarters atop beautiful Beech Mountain. Turned out, my parents also made arrangements to drive out from Kentucky and stay with us!

Friday, I got us all packed after work...then we ran a few errands in Conover and Hickory....hit 2 traffic jams on the way to Hickory. I ran into Kohls really quick, and then Ben said he thought something was going on with his eye. He said he saw a dark spot at the bottom of the right eye. I called the eye doctor's office and had an on call dr call us back. He told us he doubted that it was a problem with the retina, but we'd be welcome to come in the office Saturday morning. Ben decided we should go on up the mountain, so we did.....
My parents arrived around 11pm Friday night...they are so wonderful.

Saturday, we got up, had brunch, more like lunch at Fred's Backside Deli on Beech Mountain and Ben went back to the condo and rested a while. Poor guy, I hope and pray he starts getting more rest this coming week! He said on Saturday he thought that the dark spots on his eye were getting smaller and moving from place to place. He didn't seem too terribly concerned about and by Sunday, he said either the spots were super small or even gone! yay! . . . . . The Cockman Family sang around 4:00 Saturday afternoon, it got hot real quick out there!...We went back to the condo and called up Caroline. She and the kids decided to come on up to Beech Mountain and stay with us! Ben, momma, Caroline and I stayed up till around mid-night talking - we always have fun together!

Sunday, we all got up, had breakfast (except for Ben - he wanted leftover Pizza, Cheeseburger, Baked Beans and slaw for Breakfast...hummm...) at the deli. Caroline and kids left out to head on to Sugar Grove before us, then we got all packed up. We went on the singing, The Cockman Family performed at 2:00...then, momma & daddy headed out back for Kentucky. I can't pretend here: I had to take a walk and get my cry out! It's sooo hard to say goodbye to them, but the miles are just a barrier. Maybe one day there won't be so many mountains between us ;)

I will try to post as many photos from the weekend as I can! I hope you all have a lovely week ahead. Keep Ben in your prayers that he continues to heal and gets some rest this week!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

So far, so good!

Hi everyone...Just wanted to give a quick update on Ben's recovery from eye surgery last Thursday at Duke.

Ok...I married the strongest man alive. He has been so brave over the last few days while healing here at home. On Saturday, we went to Greystone Eye in Hickory to get a Pressure Reading on the right was 32. {a little high, a lower number would have been ideal}
Then, we went back Monday morning and got 11! Wow! Ben has to continue to hold his head down and sleep face down, but seems to be in better spirits! I think that might stem from not having to take the pain meds, those things make you crazy! Needless to say, Ben is not teaching this week, I called at least 50 students and cancelled!

We go back to Duke in the morning, our appointment is at 8:00 am, so we'll be traveling early! Keep us in your prayers that his Post-Op check up goes well!

I am sooo missing photography right now. I haven't had the camera out for over a week! Can't wait to start photogging again!

Have a great week, everyone!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Our Saturday

Hi everyone, just a little update on how today went. Our first full day back at home...whew. We had an Eye Doctor's Appointment this morning in Hickory at 8:30 a.m. to check the pressure in Ben's right eye, post-op. The pressure was 32, which was o.k., not great, but it definately could have been worse or higher. Considering Ben's surgery was just two days again and factor in the Marfans...things are going pretty good, considerably. Click here to learn more about they eye condition like Ben's - the torn retina.

Ben is currently on a regiment of about different drops, medication for the pressure in the eye, nausea & pain meds. He's so lethargic, not very talkative and just enjoys peace and quiet. I've just been cooking and cleaning today, trying to help Ben be as comfortably as possible. It's so hard for him since he has to keep his head down 50 minutes out of every hour, and sleep face down. This is because of the silicone oil the surgeon inserted. It has to remain in place, and the face flat positioning helps.

We're supposed to go back to the Eye Doctor on Monday in Hickory to get his pressure checked again, then we'll go to Duke sometime next week for another Post-Op Check (they're supposed to let us know what date and time).

It doesn't look as if we'll make it to church tomorrow, He's just so tired. Thank you all for your continued prayers and calls, it's such an encouragement to know he is on the winning side.

(Hopefully I'll be able to start posting more photos in the next day or so...I'm so far behind on editing!)

Grandfather Mountain

Friday, July 4, 2008

We're Home.

It's amazing how much being home means to you. We made it back around 3:00 this afternoon and are so thrilled to be out of the hotel. The hotel was a blessing, though, since it was so close to Eye Clinic.

Ben had his first Post-Op appointment this morning. The doctor said there was no sign of infection, and the retina was attached and looked good. No sign of infection! Our immediate concern is the amount of pressure on the eye. It's moderately high right now (around 30) and it is so important it comes back to around average. We are going to see a doctor in Hickory in the morning to have Ben's pressure checked again, so hope and pray it's lowered by then.

Poor Ben. He has to keep his head down 50 minutes out of each hour to keep any drainage from harming the eye. It's so pitiful, but he's such a strong warrier. Right now, it's as if I'm his guide when walking to and from. All the way home (around 3 hours) he just sat in the passenger seat with his head straight down or resting face down on the pillow. I have all the confidence in the world, though, that healing is his. The next week is very crucial, though, in taking all his meds an drops and following the doctors' strict orders to the 'T'.

Romans 8:28

Praise the Lord!

Hi everyone! Sorry I didn't get to post yesterday, it was quite a day! First of all, I want to thank EVERYONE for your prayers, thoughts, phone calls and just being there for us. We can feel each and every prayer working through each step of this process. We love and thank you all.

Yesterday morning, we made it to the hospital around 6:00 am, they got Ben pre-op'd and taken back to surgery around 7:30 am. It was a long procedure-over 3 hours, but everything went successfull. Dr. Jaffe is confident everything went as planned. Ben was finally released from the clinic yesterday afternoon. Needless to say, it was trying. He had a patch over the right eye with continued limited vision to the left eye.

Everything is ohk though. Ben said that when they took the patch off before we left that he had blurred, but vision, none the less in his operated eye.

We are going back at 10:00 am this morning for his Post-Op check up, so pray everything is still going great!

I'll post later today if I can. Hopefully, we'll be on our way back to Sherrills Ford!

We love you and thank you for your continued prayers!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Day 1 at Duke

Hi all! Just an update on what's going on with Ben's eye.....

We made it to Durham, NC last night around 8 pm after a stop at the Olive Garden (YUMMY!) and checked into our hotel, just a block from Ben's Doctor's Office. We had an Office Visit with Dr. Jaffe this morning starting at 8:10 a.m. We were there all morning and finally got a 'sit down' with the actual good doctor... Ben got registered in, waited, had detailed photographs taken of his eyes, waited, had a consult with the doctor's assitant, waited some more and finally got to see Dr. Jeffe. About this time, Ben's parents arrived - wonderful timing. The doctor seems to think that they can laser the retina to hold down and put a 'buckle' around the eye. We are a bit worried about scarring, we're just putting it in God's Hands

After the consult, he looks at tomorrow's (Thursday's) schedule and realizes there is a cancellation. Ben will be Dr. Jaffe's first case at 6:00 a.m. EST, so the surgery should get underway at 7:30 a.m. EST.

PRAISE THE LORD! This way, we can get the surgery taken care and not take the risk of allowing more time to pass for the retina to totally detatch. This timing is wonderful, this way we won't have to worry anymore about the possibility of sudden loss of sight without the surgery. Although the surgery is scary (Ben will, of course, undergo general anesthesia) the consequences of not having the surgery are far more grim than getting it taken care.

I know God has been with us this whole way the past couple days! From getting the first appointment with Dr. Williams in Hickory on Tuesday, to catching Dr. Jaffe the next day after returning from a trip to Hong Kong the day the cancellation of someone else on the surgery list to schedule Ben's surgery on Thursday morning. We feel so positive, although still a bit naturally apprehensive. Ben and I now are in the Computer Room of our hotel within walking distance of the Surgery site tomorrow. That is God. We're taking the day slowly, keeping our minds occupied and happy and praying.

Please continue to pray for us!

With a Christian Love,


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Please be in Prayer....

Hi everyone, hope you're having a good day!

Please be in prayer for Ben tomorrow morning. As some of you might know, he has a torn retina in his left eye, making him legally blind in that eye. He went in this morning for a Check Up in Hickory and his doctor discovered that the retina in his right eye is torn as well. We are leaving for Duke University this afternoon to make an 8:15 a.m. appointment to see the speicalist. We're preparing for the possibility of Right eye surgery this week, but still know God can heal! Please pray for a touch from above and keep us in your thoughts and prayers...

I'll post again as soon as we know more. Thank you for your prayers, they are more mighty than anything we know.


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