Thursday, August 28, 2008

1 year ago today

I was charged with a crime and told that I would be made to stand trial in an African court.

I remember feeling lost, alone, terrified, and completely out of control.

I remember my dad calling me every day that week to check on me.

I remember the feelings I had when I was in a room with men with AK-47's.  

I hate that I remember it all so vividly, and I really don't want to.

I need to remember to make that counseling appointment I have been putting off.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Seeking your opinion...

I politely offered to cancel my internet service tonight.  They wouldn't hear it over the phone of course.  I mentioned the long list of frustrations, most of which being that my internet hasn't worked properly since I installed it 2 weeks ago, after 5+ hours of being on hold because they were experiencing a "high call volume."  Tonight the guy gave me a $5 credit, which was a nice, yet insufficient, gesture.  

I am finished.  I need recommendations of another provider.  I don't need phone service, or cable, just internet, and I don't want to spend a lot of money.

So my local Cary/Raleigh/Durham readers...comment below, and let me know who has good service in the area.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Between Two worlds...

I ran across this quote earlier this evening as I was preparing for a debriefing session with our high school students tomorrow night:

"You will never be able to go home will probably always leave part of yourself behind, and thereafter will be split...and home may be in more than one place.  But that is the price you pay for the richness of having experienced more than one culture deeply."

--Dr. Miriam Adeney

This is SO true!

I felt this way 8 years ago after spending the summer in South America.  I felt this way 3 years ago as I left Outreach, Inc., and I feel this way now after leaving Tanzania.  I still don't know where home is, but I have had the rich blessing of having pieces of my heart scattered around this world.  This icky feeling I sometimes have when I long to be in Chile or in Tanzania, or really even among the urban poor in the USA is quite painful, but, it is well worth it.

Just remind me of that when I am grumbling and complaining when I am missing empanadas or tea and chapati or the lovely ladies who made them.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Surely we can change

I have had this idea running through my head for several days.

I believe that God could radically change the world we live in, but I also believe He invites us to be a part of that change...

the part I am pondering...what part are we going to play?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

5 calls, 4.5 hours, and 3 days...

That is the internet hook-up short story.

I should start this post with the phrase, "You all know nothing goes right the first time when it involves me, and technology."

So I finally took the plunge, went to Time Warner, picked up my own modem and signed up for my own internet connection.  Afterall, I was using one in my home on a regular basis, and I wasn't paying for it, and although it was "free" the network named "steve" wasn't reliable...and I felt guilty using the network called "steve" without paying for it.

I pick up the easy self install kit, pay, go run some more errands and then when I get home start to install it.  I get almost done and as I click to open my browser a page comes up and the next step is to call customer service.

I call. I am put on hold.  Then Transfered.  Then I waited...45 minutes.  45 minutes without interruption, no personal contact at all, and you all know how I feel about automated support!

I call again.  Transfered again.  On hold for another 30.  I give up again.

Later Lisa and I are watching House on DVD (that in itself is another story, it has been a technology filled weekend) and I decide to call and figure I can sit there on hold while we watch an episode or two.  Another transfer.  Another 1.5 hours on hold.  Still no human contact.  And really disappointing music.

Lisa laughs at my persistence and goes to bed.  It is now 1 am.  I give it another 20 minutes and head to bed.  Still no internet.  Still no contact with the automated service, except the guy who transfered me each time insists that the service is 24/7 here in Raleigh.

Saturday I tried again.  Twice.

Tonight I tried again.  Praise God a woman who knew what she was talking about answered the phone.  She apologized and laughed as I told her about my weekend, and was kind enough to offer to let me talk to the manager if I wanted.  She seemed like a fun customer service rep, she obliged my whining, and laughed as I joked so I passed.  In about 5 minutes flat she had me up and running.  I asked her afterwards, "so, where were you friday night?"  She was off.  She apologized again, and offered to let me speak to the manager and complain, I told her no thanks, I appreciated her help, and encouraged her to tell the manager that she just helped to keep a customer because tomorrow I had plans to march into Time Warner and let them know I was going to find another service provider.  I heard her smile.  

So a project I have been putting off for 2 months is finally completed, it only took 5 calls, 4.5 hours of wasting time on hold, and 3 days.  No wonder I put it off.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Confusion...and more appointments to come

So a few weeks back I had the dreaded scope to determine what was causing me to be sick the last year and a half.

After the scope while I was telling Gwenn the same story three times in a row and coming out of my drugged state, Dr Pai came by and said that it was evident that I had Sprue (aka Celiac's disease) because of the damage to my small intestine.  He then said he still took tissue for the sake of biopsy, but said that it was Celiac's and to make an appointment with him for follow up in four months.  The treatment for Celiac's disease is to not eat gluten.  

It has been difficult, but well worth it.  It seems to have done the trick.  I feel healthier than I have in ages, so healthy that when I accidently get gluten I am well aware within hours.  I have more energy, feel stronger, and am not lethargic or spending hours on the toilet every day.  

About a week and a half ago I start the longest game ever of phone tag with his nurse as she wanted to inform me of my biopsy results.  She called.  I returned the call.  She called again.  I called again.  Literally for a week straight.  I finally asked her to leave me a voice mail of the results.

This weekend I get a voice mail.  "Pam, this is Dr. Pai's office and I wanted to share your biopsy results with you.  Your biopsy results DO NOT indicate Celiac's disease, our guess is that your intestinal damage instead is because of a gluten intolerance. Call us if you  have any questions."

If I have questions...
How do I have a small intestine that is showing evidence of Celiac's disease but not have it?
What is Gluten intolerance?
What is the difference between the two since the treatment is the same?

Yeah.  So not much has changed in the diet, just the diagnosis.  I thought I had answers.  I will be making another appointment to get new ones.

Then there were two...

No this is not a post about dating or relationships!

But, I am laughing at the moment, as I have had the ongoing TV debate and many of you have commented in a variety of different ways.

Well, at the moment, the TV-less girl has TWO TV's in her apartment.  One that was loaned to me when I moved in, and one that was given.  I am realizing that my stint of no-TV isn't working too well.  I am clueless when it comes to most conversation, so I will give it a try, and hopefully still have some balance in life.  Besides, The Office starts soon!

Monday, August 11, 2008

My busy morning

5 am, the smoke alarm in my bedroom starts chirping.  I am annoyed.  I lay there about 10 minutes until I can't take it anymore.  I get up to look for 9V batteries to replace it, and I don't have one.  Of course.

I go to the guest bedroom, thinking if I close both doors, I won't hear it and will be able to fall asleep until my alarm at 7am.

A few minutes later, the smoke alarm in the guest bedroom starts chirping. I groan.  I close both doors, and go to the couch in the living room.  It's over.  The hallway starts.

NO JOKE!  3 batteries in 3 different smoke alarms all go out within half an hour of each other.

I wanted to curse.

So I whined a bit and walked to the grocery store at 6 AM, feeling defeated and longing for a good nights sleep.

The grocery store is empty at 6AM.  I go to buy my batteries, and yes I bought enough for each smoke detector plus a few, however I can't find someone to check out.  

In the meantime I am fully awake, so thanks to my 5 AM chirping smoke detectors, I balanced my checkbook,paid my bills, the laundry is folded and put away, I walked/jogged/ran 3 miles, got caught up on email and it is only 9 AM.  

Saturday, August 09, 2008

The absent blogger.

I have had a few comments about my lack of blogging.  But lately I didn't feel like there was anything worth writing about...I mean often can I expect you to read about my frustrations with Celiac's disease?

This week was low key, which I appreciated. I did my best to not eat gluten, and some got in me anyhow.  Did you know that curry powder has gluten in it?  Neither did I.  Neither did I.  I did learn from a message board, that not all curry powder does, but the one that was in my cabinet, did, which means that awesome rice and bean dish I made earlier this week, had it in there too.  Which explains the way I felt on Wednesday and Thursday this week.  I am finally coming out of the fog.

There are perks to this illness:
1.  I have to buy really good food!  
2.  I have to be more intentional about getting the good stuff in there. 
3.  I have an excuse to be picky about where I eat.
4.  I have an excuse to spend time pouring over cookbooks (I never mentioned my love of cookbooks before I don't think, but really I am addicted!)
5.  I get to try new recipes, and so far, most of them have been really good.

So, it isn't all that bad.  Yeah, my grocery bill is insane, and I am learning a new way of life, but there are bonuses.