Hey everyone, I can only sit here for a few minutes before it starts to hurt but I just wanted to say thank you all so much for all your thoughts and prayers.  Keep checking with my hubby if you want more updates and I hope to see you all soon.  Happy new year.  May this new year be better than any you have had before.  See you in 2005 and oh by the way Eight_New_Beginning ……  GOOD LUCK!!!!!!

Hi all.  Fallen is well and happy.  She sends her love through cyberspace to each and every one of you.  There is a new update on my site.  This is HisGateKeeper in case you were wondering.  See ya on the flip side.


 

Hi all, this is Fallen’s husband HisGateKeeper.  We are finally home now.  You can now start looking on my site for all current updates on Fallen’s condition.  Thank you and I’ll see you there.


P.S. check out her ticker at the bottom.  I updated it for her.  She’s already losing weight

Hello everyone,
I promised that I would write a post right before I went into the hospital so everyone would have the latest information.  For those of you who do not know why I will be going into the hospital tomorrow I have rewritten an old post about my surgery from a while back right below this.  It explaines what health problems I have, what surgery I am having and why.   So here it is and I will see you at the bottom.


                  ******SURGERY POST******


I am 24 and have the following problems: PCOS, hypertension (high blood pressure), sleep apnea, psuedo tumor cerebri, infertility, cronic heartburn, hypothyrodism, and a few other minor problems. 


As a result of all these things I am fat.  I don’t mean 15 pounds over weight or even 50 pounds, I mean 130 pounds over weight.  I have been told that I will never lose the weight without treatment of these problems.  The problem is they have treated each one but with everything else that is wrong they can’t pinpoint one thing at a time to treat because they can’t tell if things are working.  I have also been told that without treatment I could be blind by 35, or even die of a heart attack in the next few years, be diabetic by 30, and never have children to name a few things. 


So I oppted for the treatments…. Diets, pills, creams, hormones, tests, poking and prodding, xrays, catscans, (almost but thank God not spinal taps), endless bloodtests, and through it all two miscarrages.  These health problems have been marching steadily forward since I was about 15 but in the last four years (most of my married life) they are really taking over.   So after four years of some truly harsh and sadly hopless treatments my doctors have decided that I am a perfect candidate for gastric bypass surgery. 


When this surgery was suggested it was not some light and easy decision to make for me.  I prayed studied and ended up in six months of classes and seminars.  I will go through months of excrutiating pain while my body heals and relearns its functions.  I will spend the rest of my life eating 1/2 of a cup of food five times a day.  Just to illistrate, 1/2 a cup is one of those little apple sauce cups. It is a major physical, mental, and lifestyle change that I will have to work on every day for the rest of my life. 


But I have exhausted all of the other options open to me and none have so much as touched a problem let alone resolved it.  So I am going to have this major surgery, go through this pain, and God willing come out the other side healthy, happy, able to bear children, and be a good and active mother.  But that will still take years.  I figured out that if I have my surgery in December I may be holding a baby in my arms as early as January of 2007.


They have told me that this will litarally be my miricle.  That it will enable me to feel 24 instead of 44.  It will be my new lease on life.  So although it will be hard and it will deffinatly involve sacrifice I think some things are worth it.  Like being a mother, a good wife, having energy, being young…. The list goes on and on.  So that is what I will be doing tomorrow morning.  I am excited about this surgery.  For it will be my new beginning!


—————————————————————-


Okay so now that is over,  I will be going in to St. Luke’s Hospital here in Phoenix, AZ tomorrow at the crack of dawn or as other people call it 5:30am MT .  I will then be checking in and  will be taken into the OR at 7:30am for the prep and actual surgery.  I should be out of surgery at about 9:00am and in an actual room somewhere around 11:00am.  I should be released from the hospital sometime Tuesday afternoon and will then be home for about six weeks recovering.  However I will be up and around almost immediatly on Doctor’s orders. 


Please keep my family and myself in your prayers.  You should be able to get updates on my Aunt’s site  www.xanga.com/sulimb while I am in the hospital.  And when I am home my husband will be updating on his new site www.xanga.com/HisGatekeeper .  Thank you so much for being such great friends to me.  I can’t wait to be back and start counting down on my new ticker at the bottom.


Everyone have a safe and wonderful next couple of days.  Take care and I will be back as soon as I can.  Who knows I may be so bored I will just physically write some more installments to my story while I am down and out to type when I feel up to it.


I just wanted to thank you all for your overwhelming support for my husband.  He so appreciated the comments you all left on his site.  I’m sure he would come and tell you himself if I ever got off the compurter and let him.  I promise I will soon. 


I just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas I can’t believe it is here already!!!!   Everyone take care and be safe.  Thank you for your friendship through all of this.  I  look forward to many good times with you too.  I am overwhelmed that putting together something as simple as a web journal could have drawn me so much closer to the people that were already in my life but also to bring me friends that support me through thick and thin (although thin is yet to come)  I am so thankful.  May God bless you and be with you all.

Hi everyone,  I know it has been a while but I have been a little preocupied.    My husband is home and it is so good to have him here.   We have been getting ready for Christmas, shopping, going over my surgery stuff, and of course cuddling!!!!!   It is so good to have a helping hand and brain as mine is completely fuzzy due to full liquid diet for the last four days.


We got some really good news yesterday.  I am going to be having the laproscopic (SP?) surgery instead of the open.  This is really good as it will be a shorter external healing, shorter hospital stay, shorter surgery, and a lot less trauma to my body.  They said the recovery time is the same but a lot less painful!!!!!    This is always a good thing.


It has been a wonderful few days.  Just being together has been so comfortable.  The dogs are going nuts and they panick now every time he steps outside.  You should have seen them when he walked in the door!  Here is a picture of them together.



I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and New Years, I may not be on much until then as we are busy every day from now until the surgery.  Everyone be careful and have fun, and may God hold you and keep you and make his face to shine upon you. 


PS.  My husband has a site now.   Here is the link http://www.xanga.com/HisGatekeeper  if you can drop by and leave a comment that would be wonderful.  He will be updating on my surgery and recovery while I am gone.  I will talk to all of you soon.


Courtney

My husband is flying in tonight. 


I have to be at the airport in about three hours.  I am so excited and a little bit anxious.  He has been gone for over four months and that in reality is a very long time.  It always takes a little time to get used to haveing that person around you again, but I sure don’t think its going to be a problem.


I may not be around much the next couple of days (or I may who knows)  but know that I am keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers.  I will update before my surgery so you have the details.  Hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas.

Today was my first day of the preop liquid diet, and I am so hungry!  Anyway.  I am getting so excited, my husband is coming home tomorrow, although we shall see if he actually gets to come here tomorrow.  He will be in Virginia tomorrow morning but there is a possibility they will keep him there overnight and won’t send him here until Wednesday.  I’m praying this is not the case as my last appointment with my surgeon is on Wednesday and I would love to have him here for it.


A really terrible thing happened last night.  My husband called and told me that the guys threw him a going away party as he was the supervisor over there.  While he was at the party someone broke into his room and stole his cd’s and half of the Christmas gifts for our family.  Of course it was the jewlry so it set us back about 80 bucks.  So I had to give him more money.   This is really unfortunate as the only money we had was the money he asked me to set aside so he could buy gifts for me when he came home.  Oh well.  I will have him.  That is gift enough.


Okay so I guess I should tell my haunted house story since I put out the teaser.  So here you go.


My Story Chapter 6: Uninvited Guest


So we moved into the townhouse  in February of 2001.  It was a beautiful little place.  It was two story with a fire place and a little backyard.  It had two bedrooms and three bathrooms with a little sitting area between two windows in the master bedroom upstairs that faced the street.  I really loved it there.  It was one of those places that no matter how tired I was or how sick I felt I was happy and at peace.  But it was not always that way. 


The guest room doubled as our office at the back of the house upstairs.  It was a quiet and semi dark room with a walk in closet.  The walk in closet was the problem, or at least a big part of it.  It started soon after we moved in, creaking upstairs that of course was just the house settling, thumping, things falling off the shelves in the walk in no matter how secure they were.  Worst of all waking up in the middle of the night only to find the walk in light on and the door open when we both had checked it right before going to bed.  


Every once in a while I would be going up the stairs and suddenly the hair on the back of my neck would stand up and I felt like someone was watching me.  My husband felt the same way.  We both usually ran up the stairs.  My dog would even stand at the top of the stairs at night and growl. 


Then my husband left for Saudi Arabia.   It was to be his first deployment.  My first time without him.  It was really hard for me to get through because I was still sick.  Then a few weeks in I had a dream that scared me so bad I almost packed up and left. 


In my dream I was sitting on my couch  with my back to the stairwell and I heard footsteps on the stairs.  I turned my head and there was a woman on the landing.  She was tall, about 65, thin, with her hair pulled up on top of her head. 


I said, “Excuse me, what are you doing in my house?”  She said, “I live here”  I said “No you don’t this is my house leave.”  She got really scary looking then threw back her head and laughed.  She said, “You can try to make me leave but no one has suceeeded so far.”  Then she turned and walked back up my stairs.  Needless to say I woke up in a cold sweat. 


Things got progressively worse from there.  Nothing violent just more frequent.  I must say I was really glad when my huysband came home.  As soon as he came home we prayed over the house and everything stopped.  I don’t know why I never thought to do it before then.


When I think back now I realize that that house was the only house my husband and I have every lived in that we did not have my Grandfather and the rest of the family bless. 


Okay so that’s my haunted house story and it is the most I have ever dealt with even though my house now has seen the death of a child.  There was a baby 10 months old that died here three years ago.  He died of SIDS.  Yet this house feels peaceful, happy, content, blessed.  Who could ask for more. 

I know I said I would not be writting much but these last few days I seem to have a little time at the end of my days to fill.  I want to get my story down so that I have a record of all the things that came before this new beginning in my life. And of course for you to read if you choose.  I warn you that starting here there are not many happy times.  We were happy together and we love each other but we hit a bit of a rough spot you might say.  But this is who I am.  All these things that passed are what made us strong together.  I do not believe in regrets.  If I were to regret one thing one choice I would be turning my back on something that made me who I am.  So here continues my story the good and the bad. 


My Story Chapter 5: In Sickness and Health


As soon as we returned from our honeymoon I began to feel sick.  I started to gain weight uncontrolably and within a few months I had gained 35 pounds and I started to fear for my health.  When I went to the doctors they said that it may be the birth control, so I went off them.  We thought that having a baby while we were dirt poor would be better than continuing to ruin my health. 


We were too late.


I got pregnant for the first time right after Christmas of 2000, just six months after we were married.  We were so excited about that positive test but then about five weeks in we tested again and it was negative.  The doctors confirmed it, no baby.  This was my first miscarrage and we were devistated.


A few weeks later I started having horrible headaches.  Instead of feeling that my head was in a vice it felt as if it would explode.  At first I thought it was just my hormons but then my vision began to fail. 


I had been under the impression that Tricare paid for eye care so I went to the doctor and got a referal.  I was wrong they only covered a yearly eye health check up with an opthomologist insteat of an optomitrist.  (I know I butchered the spelling I’m sorry)  Looking back now I can see that this mistake on my part was nothing less than a miracle from God.  If I had not had this appointment I don’t even like to think what might have happened.


The doctor dialated my eyes to do a thourogh check.  Then he came in to look.  Have you ever had a doctor literally go pale and say, “Oh no this is not good.” ?  He rushed me  to another room to take pictures of my eyes.  All said and done I have a condition called, Psedo Tumor Ceribri.  It is a condition in which the spine makes excess spinal fluid which pools and swells in your brain until it puts pressure on your optic nerve.  This literally acts like a brain tumor except for there is no tumor.  Untreated it can cause blindness and in severe cases even death.  I was shuttled around to diferent neurologists and specialists.  I narrowly escaped spinal taps but was put on a medication that was so harsh that I lost feeling in my face hands and feet, while I was taking it. 


So there I was barely 20, my health was failing, I had headaches that were so severe I had to quit my job and I rarely left my house, the medication was almost worse than the headaches, and I had suffered a miscarriage.  It was not a happy time.


In the middle of all this we had to move rather unexpectedly.  (This part of the story is not funny but it is at least interesting. ) One night at about 3am I had a dream.  In this dream my husband gently shook me awake and said ‘Courtney, get up very quietly and hide there’s someone at the door.’  At the same time he swears he heard a voice from the foot of the bed say, ‘Ryan get up and lock the front door.’  We woke up at the same moment and I hid and he ran in the front room and threw the bolt on the top lock. 


At the same moment a man with a gun came running up the stairs to our apartment and started banging on the door.  He was screaming, “Get up @#%&* and open this door!”  Then he actually unlocked the bottom lock on our door.  We called security and they came and got the guy.  Apparently he was after someone who had lived there before.  Three days later we gave our notice!  Wouldn’t you?  I honestly believe that God sent angels to protect us that night.


We rented a wonderful little townhouse that was haunted but that is a story for another day.  We were happy there for that year.


Through all of this my husband has been the most amazing and supportive man.  He has been by my side protecting and cherishing me.  When I was too sick to clean or cook he came home from a grueling day and did it for me.  When I was too tired or in too much pain to put on makeup he told me I was prettier without it.  When I gained 100 pounds in three years he said I was still beautiful.  I love him more each day.  Through all of the heart ache we remain happy together. 


God has truely proven to us that he is always there.  No matter how bad things get he has been there for us.  We are blessed in all things to be able to see a silver lining.  I must admit though, it is not always right away.  But as I have said before, and as my grandfather said before me, God holds us all in the hollow of his hand.

First of all.  Yay two more days two more days.  Look at my tickers at the bottom my life is catching up with me!


I have avoided posting any pictures of myself so far.  Since I am about to have gastic bypass surgery I thought it was time to post a few.  I want a record of my before and after since I will be going through so many changes in the next year or so.  The picture below is me just about three weeks ago.  I am currently 285 pounds.



The next picture is me five years ago when I had just gotten engaged I was about 180 pounds.  In one year I should be at this weight again although my eventual goal is 150 per my doctors.  ( Sorry I think this was Christmas morning in my mom and dads cabin just a few weeks after I got engaged and I don’t think I had had my coffee yet.)



So I am now about 8 days away from having surgery.  I am getting really excited.  This  is my new beginning.  I will finally feel young and have energy.  I will want to do all the things I have longed to do for the last four years.  My life will no longer be lived from the sidelines.  I want to be a part of this world not a watcher of it.  I can’t wait to finally get a positive on a pregnancy test and know in my heart that there is a chance I would hold that baby in my arms.  I can’t wait to just live………..


Okay I know this will make this a long post but I need to finish this part of my story before Ryan comes home and I promised to tell you about my wedding and honeymoon.  So here goes….


My Story Chapter 4: The Wedding


Ryan and I were married on June 24th 2000.  The night before we had a rehearsal which was hilarious.  I had the woman who sang at my parents’ wedding sing for mine.  She sang ‘The Lords Prayer’ during our communion and unity candle and ‘All I ask of you’ from Phantom of the Opera with another professional singer.  It was wonderful but during the rehearsal all the groomsmen lip sang along with the opera song in a really goofy way and had all of us cracking up.  We almost didn’t make it through on the day of the wedding.


On the day of the wedding it was crazy but wonderful.  My Dad walking me down the aisle and kissing my cheek was just about the most emotinal moment of my life.



Here is my favorite picture of my dress.  I am sitting with my flower girl. I figured I might as well post it too since I’m doing all the others.



Then came the vows.  My husband got about halfway through and then started laughing. I made myself get through mine but when I asked him later what had happened you would not believe it!  He told me that he was looking down my dress at my cleavage and when he looked up I was looking at him (duh we were facing each other)  he thought I caught him so he started to laugh. (I have to clarify here that we were wearing microphones so everyone heard him laugh, loudly.) 


Then came the kiss.  It was perfect.  I have posted the pic before but here it is again.



The reception was great we were surrounded by about 300 friends and family members.  My husband almost had a heart attack when he was taking the garter off my leg.  My dad yelled, ‘Hey what are you doing!’  just as he touched it and he just about peed his pants.



Notice the tennis shoes?  I refused to wear dress shoes I didn’t want my feet to hurt.  So this was my compromise with my mom.  Cute huh?


Then we were off on our honeymoon.  We spent the first night in a resort here in town and then went on to Las Vegas.  We stayed there for two nights and walked the strip it was so much fun.  Then we went on to Utah.  My grandparents got us a week in a resort but we got there a week early so we stayed in a roach motel.  I mean the kind where we opened a bottom drawer in a dresser and someone had left candy in it and there were four mice.  EEEEEEKKKKKKK!!!!!!! 


Then on to the resort where we both promptly came down with the flu and were sick for the whole week.  Yuck!  Then we drove to Montana and all the campgrounds were full so we drove right through.  46 hours of driving and we ended up in Cuchara Colorado where the pastor that married us lived.  They gave us free reign of a condo they maintained on the mountain we were there for 10 days.  It was wonderful.  They gave us tours of the mountains and included us in their church activities.  We had a blast.  Then we came home and began our life. 


I know this one was a little boring but I had to tell you that last part of our beginning so you would know right where we were before the world crashed in on us. But that story is for another time.