Thursday, September 28, 2017

The Pink, Fuzzy Robe


Embarrassing or proud? What if I told you the pink, fuzzy robe I still wear is twenty-four years old? Yes, it's a little tattered. The pocket is coming unsewn. Some of the fuzz is worn thin in places, especially the hem. There's a hole by one of the buttons. But, I wouldn't give up that robe if you offered me a new one woven out of 24 karat gold.

You see, my mom gave me that pink, fuzzy robe to wear in the hospital to deliver my oldest son. She was ailing and hadn't been well enough to even attend my baby shower. I'm sure my brother had to help her purchase the robe, but it will always be from my mom.

The two of them came to the hospital to see me and my new little baby boy who looked like a little Indian baby. He had dark skin and thick black hair. I proudly wore my pink robe and watched as my mom cautiously held the baby for only a few moments as she sat in her wheelchair, the pain clearly stretched across her face from her failing heart.

It was the last thing she bought me. The last time she held my son. The last time I saw her. 

She died in less than four weeks from my son's birth.

For years, it was too difficult to look at the photos of her holding my son that day because it was so shocking to see just how ill she really was.  However, the robe has always comforted me when I needed a hug that you can only get from your mom as I've dealt with continued health problems, a challenging marriage and the day-to-day difficulties of raising two children with anxiety disorder, autism, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, oppositional defiance, health issues, and learning disabilities.

Have you kept something from someone you cared dearly for that helps you through the difficult days? Please share in the comments.


Cindy A. Christiansen
Sweet Romance, Humor, Suspense...and Dogs! 
Fly into a good book at: http://www.dragonflyromance.com 
Photo of dog from 123rf.com: Nataly Ponomarenko 


Friday, August 18, 2017

Fierce Writer: Unlock Your MICE Quotient




My apologies for not updating my blog for so long. I have been having a difficult stretch with both of my boys who deal with autism, anxiety disorder, health issues and other mental conditions.

I have chosen to share a wonderful blog post by author Flossie Benton Rogers. Hope you enjoy!







Cindy A. Christiansen
Sweet Romance, Humor, Suspense...and Dogs! 
Fly into a good book at: http://www.dragonflyromance.com 

First dog photo with mouse: http://i.imgur.com/abIgZAQ.jpg
Second dog photo with mouse: http://www.funnyanimalsite.com/pictures/Dog_With_Mouse.htm

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The White Moth: An Autism Story



If you don’t already know, I have two sons with Anxiety Disorder, Autism and Learning Disabilities. Sparky, the oldest, was about seven years old when we went camping up around Paris, Idaho. It was purely a camping trip—no fishing, traveling, boating, etc. We parked the trailer amongst the pines, facing on open flat and stayed.

On the second evening of the trip, Sparky spotted a little white moth just outside the trailer window. He named him Whitey but called him Little Buddy. The moth consumed his thoughts for the next three days. Now whether it was the same moth or a different one (honestly, who can tell) that little white moth continued to fly around our camp.

I’m sure we used bug spray. I’m sure we had a campfire. Nothing seemed to send Sparky’s Little Buddy on his way. Sparky chased him around the camp by day and watched him flutter about his head while we sat by the fire. My husband and I were sure he would fly into the flames, but Whitey never seemed to leave and particularly hung around the outside of Sparky’s window. We were doubtful that it was the same moth. We also got a little tired of hearing about this moth for four straight days. When we tried to tell Sparky that it wasn’t the same moth, he promptly told us he could identify him. Yeah, right.

And so, our camping trip went, and it was finally time to pick up camp and head home. Sparky asked if he could take his little buddy home with him. Of course, the answer was no which lead to snot and tears. As we slowly rattled away from our camp spot, I swear I saw a little white moth in the rearview mirror…following us.

Spring went by and the Fourth of July soon came. It was time for hotdogs on the grill and a night of fireworks.  Who should show up at the party? Yes, Whitey. With much joy and happiness, Sparky was certain that the little white moth was his little buddy. He could identify him, you know. We tried to explain that there was no way Whitey could have traveled all that distance to West Jordan, Utah. Sparky wouldn’t accept that answer and danced around the yard with glee.

Now mind you, my husband and I didn’t want to share this story with anyone. We were certain it meant our son not only had disabilities but was also a mental case.  We certainly weren’t going to discuss it with his therapist. We didn’t want to know the answer. I also wondered if that moth had hopped a ride on the bumper of our trailer in order to stay with Sparky, but then I questioned my own sanity.

About a month later, we headed down to central Utah for another camping trip, about 200 miles away. Sparky asked on the way, “Do you think Whitey will be there?” My husband and I looked at each other and groaned.  Sure enough, as we setup camp, a little white moth appeared. Sparky was overjoyed.

To this day, and with Sparky in his twenties, we still try to never bring up the subject of moths…or Whitey…because Whitey lives, and he can still show up just about anywhere, especially out camping.



Cindy A. Christiansen
Sweet Romance, Humor, Suspense...and Dogs!
Fly into a good book at: http://www.dragonflyromance.com

Copyright: relikten1 / 123RF Stock Photo (Dog added)

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Stay Strong; Stay Happy; and Keep Moving Forward!

 

I had a good friend call me the other day and tell me I have received the spiritual blessing of long-suffering.

What? A blessing of long-suffering?

At first, I wondered if her brain had slipped a cog. Long-suffering certainly didn’t feel or sound like a blessing to me, especially when you were living it. It felt more like a punishment; a curse. I thought of all the physical pain I had suffered since being diagnosed with chronic health issues at the age of seventeen. I thought of struggling through college never knowing when a seizure would hit; always needing a bathroom or the side of the road to be sick; feeling endless pain; and my mind being constantly riddled with brain fog. And, that was only the beginning.

An extremely difficult marriage, a miscarriage, and two high-risk pregnancies (that lead to two special needs children) added to that long-suffering. The loss of my parents and my closest brother early in their lives had been distressing and challenging at best.

No. I couldn’t see that God had given me a special blessing. My road felt devastatingly hard, and I could only wonder what I had done to displease Him that He would shoulder me with this much tribulation.

I said nothing to my friend as all of this raced through my mind. She told me her daughter was preparing a lesson for church and together they were researching spiritual blessings. She had never explored the blessing of long-suffering before and when discussing it with her daughter, she immediately thought of me.

God had given me a special blessing—not one that many could withstand—she said. She told me I must have been very close to Him on the other side to receive such a spiritual blessing. I still scoffed. My mind associated long-suffering with hardship and punishment—not a blessing. Maybe my friend’s brain had slipped two cogs.

But as she continued to explain this special blessing, an overwhelming sense of love and gratitude filled me. She told me that despite my trials, I was living my life with a smile on my face and always doing for others during the most difficult of times. She said I was truly “enduring to the end” with grace.

It took time, days really, for the meaning of her words to sink in and to accept the blessing I have been given. I want to thank my friend for sharing this with me so that I can share it with all of you.


I know that I am not the only one here who has been given this special blessing. I know many who are dealing with much strife in their lives. May you now look upon it as a special spiritual gift and feel His loving arms around you as you journey through this mortal life filled with long-suffering. Stay strong; stay happy; and keep moving forward.



Cindy A. Christiansen
Sweet Romance, Humor, Suspense...and Dogs! 
Fly into a good book at: http://www.dragonflyromance.com

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

You Really Don’t Want This Diagnosis, Do You?


In 2005, I almost died after an easy laparoscopic gallbladder operation. The doctor made mistakes (internal bleeding), the OR team made mistakes (pinched a nerve in my left leg), and the nurse made a huge mistake (didn’t hook up my IV right and I bleed out on the floor). I’m not sure to this day why they didn’t give me blood transfusions because I fell way below transfusion level. Maybe it had to do with admitting they had made a mistake.

I started having seizures and developed a systemic infection with a fever of 103 degrees F. I also developed other health issues. I eventually ended up seeing a neurologist. I scheduled an appointment to get the results of my MRI so that my husband would be with me. I had to go into his office for some other reason and his staff immediately told me I had Multiple Sclerosis (MS). They had me on the table, ready to inject me with Interferon before I knew what was happening. I refused.

I got several other opinions. If you don’t know, MS is not a conclusive diagnosis. Two doctors said I had MS, three said they weren’t sure. The doctor I trusted most told me it didn’t matter at that point. He said to hold out as long as I could without treatment because it is expensive and can make things worse. I took his advice.

Exactly ten years later, I started having symptoms on the left side of my head, including extreme pain and pressure at the base of the skull, ringing in the ear, eye pain, cognitive issues and frontal lobe pain. I ended up seeing another neurologist and having several MRIs done.

At our next appointment, she said, “I think you have MS, but that isn’t causing your current symptoms.”

“Let’s just focus on my head issue.”

She turned and looked at me. “You really don’t want this diagnosis, do you?”

I stared at her and blinked a few times. Seriously? Would anyone want a diagnosis of MS? Did she think I should be jumping for joy? Frankly, my head hurt too much to respond to that question.

I said, “I thought it wasn’t a conclusive test?”

“You have a lot of new lesions in your brain and on your spine. Let’s get things started.”

On the way home, my mind kept asking me if I was ready for this. I was, and had been, in a lot of pain. Could I take more? Or, had I had enough? Would I just be making things worse by going on medication?

The phone rang as I came through the door.

“Is this Cindy Christiansen?”

“Yes.”

“We would like to come out and get your trained on your first injection.”

Really? That fast? “I need to think about this first.”

I hang up, my mind reeling and my hands tingling with confusion. The phone rang again. It was my doctor.

“I’ve talked with the radiologist that read your MRIs,” she said. “I’ve decided you don’t have MS.”

“But the company just called me to schedule the in-home—”

“I’ve cancelled that.”

I hung up, bewildered and numb. So, if I am not a willing to make a rushed decision, I don’t have MS? I guess my doctor was right.

“You really don’t want this diagnosis, do you?”  



Cindy A. Christiansen
Sweet Romance, Humor, Suspense...and Dogs! 
Fly into a good book at:http://www.dragonflyromance.com 

Photo of dog: www.123rf.com