Wednesday, October 18, 2006

How's It Going And How Can I Help You?

I suppose I owe you an update on the bad news I shared last week from what's been happening in my life. It's funny how stinging that proverbial 2X4 on the backside of the head feels a week after getting walloped! :)

First, my brother Kevin. He did end up going three hours away from home to a university medical center for them to check out his clogged arteries about what to do regarding his dismal heart condition. My mom called me on Tuesday and said they decided NOT to do emergency open heart surgery or even an angioplasty for him.

Instead, they are going to try two things that the doctors back in his hometown can administer--a harness to wrap around his thigh that is supposed to help pump the blood through the heart when the flow gets weak and an experimental new oral medication designed to break up blockages in the arteries. I've never heard of either one of these treatment and they seem to be some of the latest advances in medical technology they are using on him. Pray that they work to heal him.

The good news about the one completely clogged artery (if there is good news to share with that) is that it leads to the "dead" part of Kevin's heart that was permanently damaged during his heart attacks in 1999. In other words, it wouldn't do any good for him even if it was completely cleared. Kevin is not out of the woods with his health yet and I only ask you to continue praying that he would FINALLY wake up and get serious about his health before it REALLY is too late.

I so desperately want him to DO IT this time and may try to get personally involved somehow in making that happen although I live over 1,000 miles away. He can't keep living the way he has been and expect to see his weight and health improve. Pray for me to have the wisdom and direction about how to approach Kevin to help him through this and for him to have the "want to" this time to save his life.

Second, my bathroom floor and roof. Well, we have a new floor installed now thanks to the $1750 we plopped down to have that fixed which basically eliminated our savings we had for our roof to be repaired. That's just a part of life we all have to deal with, but it was just the timing of it that makes it that much more difficult to bear. The workers are scheduled to come back tomorrow to finish up putting in the pipes and installing the vanity, so that issue is pretty much resolved at this point. We are going to start saving for the roof repairs again once I can begin earning money again.

Speaking of that, finally, there's my job situation. It was one week ago today that I was told I no longer had a job with the company I had invested the last 4+ years of my life to. As painful as that experience was and the fact that I was not allowed any compensation for my nearly two weeks of vacation time that had built up or even a severance package, I'm doing okay with it. Nobody ever said life was easy and this past week or so has certainly validated that statement for me.

Some good news is that the temp agency I am working with to find employment has a prospect for me in the same field of work I was doing previously. It is for less pay and obviously NO benefits such as health insurance, retirement, or a gym membership. But is IS a job and I'll take it in a split second if and when an offer is made. My primary goal right now is to start bringing in money again to support my family. That is a priority that I will make happen in short order.

At the same time, I will be looking for full-time employment in a career that would allow me to use my writing talents, marketing experience, and even weight loss success to lay the groundwork for what I will be doing in the years to come. I know we all have our dream jobs and most of those are unfulfilled for whatever reason. But if my nearly 200-pound weight loss taught me anything, it most certainly showed me that nothing is impossible for those who hope and expect success to happen. That doesn't mean the perfect job will fall in my lap, nor should it. However, I believe it CAN happen and it very likely will.

One thing I have been encouraged by over this past week has been the outpouring of love and support from so many of my readers. There have been literally hundreds of e-mails from people all basically stating "how's it going and how can I help you?" You all are among the kindest people on the planet for showing this goofy opinionated low-carber the kindness and friendship that you have. I am truly humbled by your faithfulness to me and the work I am doing here and feel so unworthy of the adoration that you have bestowed on me. How can I say THANK YOU enough?

A few of you asked me about making a contribution to a PayPal account to help me out during this time. I do not have a PayPal account and have never posted one at my blog. The work I do through "Livin' La Vida Low-Carb" is a labor of love and I do not mind giving back to others for what the low-carb lifestyle has done for me. Do I wish I could get paid to do what I do at my blog? Heck yeah! I'd be the luckiest guy in the world to be able to support my family writing here for a living. But that's not gonna happen anytime soon.

However, one of my readers read my post over at the "30-In-30" Low-Carb Weight Loss Challenge blog this week where I announced that I had gained 10 1/2 pounds during my troubled week. I chalked the weight gain up to the stress of everything I've been going through and the reader was sincerely concerned to the point that she felt compelled to help me out personally.

Here's what she wrote to me:

"I’ve been following your tough week: from your brother’s health, to losing your job, and now gaining 10.5 pounds on top of all that! That motivated me to ask you something I’ve thought about asking you for quite a while, but just kept putting off.

I assume there are costs involved with your blog that you pay for out of pocket. I’d like to make a contribution. Would you be willing to accept it?

In gratitude to you, in appreciation for your hard work, and to help a wonderful couple going through a tough time, I’d really like to help you out with a small contribution. If this is okay with you?"

Let me just say that I would never stand in the way of anyone who has such a generous heart from being blessed by God for showing this kind of earnest compassion on a fellow human being. That is one of the most thoughtful and selfless acts of kindness and respect that I have ever been shown in my entire life and it would be quite prideful on my part to stop her from doing this.

What a surprising reminder that there really are some very good people in this world today who still remember the human touch that is too often left out of most of our interaction with others. God bless this reader for wanting to reach out to me and Christine in our time of need. We cannot begin to express our THANKS for this unexpected gift.

So, as you can see, life is beginning to look up again after the intial blow that came on us last week. But I knew it would. Everything really does happen for a reason and a purpose that we may never know why, but I'm just trusting the Lord will continue to work all things together for good to fulfill his great and mighty purposes. With friends like so many of you out there praying for us and offering to support us financially, I can't help but be reminded of that eternal truth on a daily basis.

THANK YOU again to everyone who has shared in these difficult times with me and helped me believe that better days are on the horizon. You are my angels and I cannot praise you enough for all that you have done for me. Take care and be blessed!

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Blogger K. Dill said...

Some one once told me, and I've often found to be true, resilience will trump brilliance. Hope it all comes together for you.

10/19/2006 11:40 AM  
Blogger Tracy said...

Jimmy, sorry about your job loss. Believe me, I know how hard it is, especially after having been at the same place for four or five years, like yourself. Are you able to qualify for unemployment in your state? Definitely be looking at that. It might not be much (I was getting $125 a week until I took this last job), but it would be something that would give you some time until you found your next one. Still, I almost can't picture you working for some clod. I see you out there doing something on your own. I'll keep you in my prayers.

10/22/2006 1:10 PM  

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