When Life is Like a Tilt-A-Whirl
Do you ever feel like you just got off an amusement park ride that was spinning too fast? That's kinda how I'm feeling, a little wobbly, as I try to regain my balance this week.

As many of you know, my mom ended up in the hospital for multiple blood clots in both of her lungs the day I last posted. We're so thankful for the gift of more life together. A friend, who is also a nurse, told me yesterday that 80% of people with pulmonary embolisms don't make it to the hospital.

Mom was admitted on Wednesday morning, November 18th and stayed until Wednesday night, November 25th. We were told she'd be there two nights but each day a new door opened to the unexpected and her release date was extended.

The doctors told us she had a blood clot, most likely in her leg, that dislodged and went through her heart before it shattered into several smaller clots into both lungs. They immediately put her on Coumadin, a blood thinner, to prevent more clotting.

She was supposed to go home that Friday evening, but she developed severe lower left back pain and a fever. They put her on morphine to ease her pain and by the time the Dr came to see her Sat morning, she was feeling a bit better. She self-diagnosed that she'd pulled a muscle doing her breathing exercises and her Dr. believed her.

Unfortunately, I was not at the hospital when all this happened. By the time I got there she was "morphed" out of pain and in a deep sleep most of Saturday. Eventually the morphine wore off and I was able to see the excruciating pain she had. It was classic kidney stone symptoms so we ordered another CT scan and they found a 5mm stone in her left kidney.

On Monday they decided to do surgery to remove it since it was too large to pass. But when they went in to start the surgery they discovered she had a severe kidney infection so they had to stop the procedure. Her fever continued to increase and some concerns also developed about pneumonia so they decided to keep her until Wednesday.

By that morning, my mom was planning our Thanksgiving day menu and her escape!

Fortunately, they determined she was well enough to go home and we all got to be together for Thanksgiving day and weekend. She's moved in with us for at least this week and we'll see each day how she is doing and what plans we need to make. She will also be having surgery this week to remove the kidney stone, we hope.

This past week, I have felt like my life was tilting and whirling at high speed!

Between dropping being at the hospital with my mom as much as possible since I am the only family in town, being her hospital care advocate, keeping other family members posted on her condition, finding someone to watch Aster every day, worrying about her being confused because her new mommy was gone, arranging carpool for the boys and trying to keep their schedules as normal as possible... I have felt totally out of sorts.

It's been so hard to see my mom who is so energetic and spunky become pale, weak and very uncomfortable.

But oh how thankful I am that I know the One who holds my world and my days in His hands. I couldn't do it without Him. I'd be a basket case! I am so grateful I can look to Him to help me find balance today, and a new way of doing life each day as we move forward.

Has your life felt a little too much tilt and whirl lately? Is some area spinning out of control? Do you feel off balance? I know where you are and I'd love to know how I can pray for you!! Our family has been so blessed by so many prayers and so much support. We'd love to give some back to you!


Blogger Redeemed1 said...

I'm so glad she made it to the hospital in time! What a wonderful thanksgiving gift that she ws able to come home and spend it with you. I will continue to pray for her (and you) as she faces this upcoming surgery.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will continue to pray for your mom and you during her upcoming surgery.

Blogger B His Girl said...

Renee, I pray your Mom continues to feel stronger and the removal of the stone will be routine. I would ask you to pray for my sister Mary who just had surgery and stage 4 cancer was discovered.
I am thankful one day life will be complete and balanced (no tilting) in the Presence of Jesus.

Anonymous Andrea said...


Praying for your Mom - and the upcoming surgery - and your family as well. Asking for Jesus' peace in the midst of everything.

Pray that I will get better sleep and have less menopause issues/symptoms. Thanks!

Love, Andrea

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Renee, I love your blog. I also love how the Lord works, because I am in need of prayer. My family life is out of control right now! I am having trouble with my daughter and husband. (Her step-dad.) We were doing so good.. but I know the Lord will pull us through.
*Any advice would be great. :)
Thank you for praying!

Blogger Mocha with Linda said...

So glad things are better for your mom. My mom went through blood clots in the lungs a few years ago. It is scary!

Just be sure she's careful while she's on the coumadin. If she falls or hits her head, get her checked even if she seems fine.

What did Aster think of Thanksgiving?!

Have been praying for your mom and all of you.

I understand the Tilt-A-Whirl. Things have been "whirly" lately...not bad, just busyness. So thankful He stills the storm to a whisper and gets us to our destination!

Psalm 107:28-30
Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble,
and he brought them out of their distress.

29 He stilled the storm to a whisper;
the waves of the sea were hushed.

30 They were glad when it grew calm,
and he guided them to their desired haven.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so happy to hear your mom is recovering. You are right that life is something to be so grateful for---what a gift from God each day is!

Always enjoy reading your blog--thank you!


Blogger Renae said...

Oh my!! I will praying for your mom, and I'm so thankful this was all discovered quickly!

Please pray for us as we wait for travel dates to visit(first one of two) the little girl we have been referred to adopt from Bulgaria. We are desperately praying for the first of January, instead of the end of the January:(


Blogger Renee Swope said...

Barbara, I am praying for your sister Mary! Oh how hard that must be. I know from walking with my friend Kim that stage 4 cancer is very painful and scary. I pray for complete healing and a powerful touch from Jesus to calm her heart and soothe her fears. I pray that you would hear Him speak clearly to your heart on how you can be His hands and heart to her!!!

Andrea, I pray that you will rest in perfect peace and that your hormones and body temperature would be balanced. I pray that if there are changes in diet or schedules that God would give you wisdom and direction. I also pray that you can laugh at the days ahead and find humor in the adventure of being a woman - fearfully and wonderfully made. Maybe "fearfully" was referring to menopause!

Alvena, I lift up your family to our Father in Heaven who shepherds those who have young and carries them close to His heart. I pray that He would lead you all beside still waters and bring rest to the restless places in your home and in your hearts. I pray for peace and unity and a hedge of protection from the enemy's schemes to divide and destroy. Greater is HE who is in you than he who is in the world. Speak blessings and encouragement over them and let God deal with the rough places that need smoothin' out. He who began a good work will complete it in Christ Jesus!

Renae, oh how I pray for God to make a way where there is no way and that you will get to see your little girl in January. I pray for favor and smooth procedures and no glitches in court dates and paperwork. I pray that angels would usher your documents to the places and people they need to get to and that God would speed up your process and let you bring home your little girl much sooner than you think or imagine!

Sharon, I love the verses you shared and pray that in the midst of a busy season of life that you would hear His heart whisper to yours - peace, be still. I pray that He would refresh you as you refresh others and He would supply you with all your needs and an overflowing measure of grace to be His hands, feet and words of hope to those He brings your way.

It is an honor and blessing to pray for each of you. Thank you for doing life and sharing your life with me!!!


Blogger Joyful said...

So thankful for the evidence of God's hand on you and your family as life was spinning out of your control, but thankfully never out of His.

Makes me wonder again...what do people do without the Lord? He's the only One who can bring calm in chaos.

Continuing to pray for you,

Blogger Kimberly said...

I am with you....I just cannot imagine what kind of wife, mom, daughter, friend I would be without Him. Especially when things get super crazy!

I am so sorry for how wild your ride has been lately...but I am so glad you have His hands to keep you steady!

Thank you for all of the many times you have lifted me up in prayer. You are such a precious woman of God. Know that I will continue to pray for you and your family.


Blogger Jill said...

Renee, I've been thinking of you and praying for you. I love your illustration of a tilt-a-whirl and I can relate to it all to well here lately!! One minute the ride is exciting and fun and the next it can be a bit scary and overwhelming. And even at times leave me feeling a little sick... The thing is with this ride there is no stepping off and though I can't control the switch, I'm thankful God does. Lately He's been reminding me that even when times are tough, He is in control, His presence is real and His peace is powerful. Renee, I pray that is the case for you and ask that you pray the same will continue to be true for me ~ don't think the days at the amusement park will end anytime soon!! Blessings to you, Jill

Blogger tiggerdaisy said...


I'm so glad that everything turned out alright with your mom! Praying that her surgery goes smoothly and that God's healing grace and mercy flows triumphantly through her veins. To God be the glory!

You are such a kind and tender woman, Renee. Thanks for asking about our prayer needs and being faithful in lifting them up to our Heavenly Father.

My prayer need is to find more time in my day to do the things I need to do and yet spend quality time with my family, which is first and foremost behind spending time with God. Both my husband and I work full-time, and we have a 26 month old and a 6 month old. My oh my, can things get busy! :)

I know this tilt a whirl you've recently experienced may have put your book writing/editing on hold. Praying God's touch on your life and the words of your book as you see the project to completion.

Prayers and blessings,

Anonymous Andrea said...

Thank you so much, Renee, for your prayers for me! Got a much better sleep last night, which is helpful since I have a special-needs daughter also.

Happy first birthday to Aster! What a beautiful gift from the Lord!

Continuing to pray for your Mom...


Blogger awcamp said...

How I know that tilt-a-whirl feeling. Two years ago, this season (just before Thanksgiving), my mom passed away. It was a special time of communion with God and family, but there were many years of struggle (she had Alzheimer's for over a decade). As this season rolls around, I'm so thankful to be on this side, yet the grief from those years still bubbles up. I'd love prayer that I and my family can appreciate the joy of this season and that we will feel God's presence day by day. So glad your mom was able to be with you during Thanksgiving. I've been keeping you and your family in prayer.
Blessings to you and your sweet family,

Blogger Jessica said...


I understand. When Jon-David was eight mo's old, my grandmother (who is really like my mom) had heart failure...Geez, trying to balance all the health things, my baby...it was overwhelming...

I pray God fills you so much over the next few weeks...


Blogger emily said...

Oh, Renee...What a week you've had. Thanks for letting us know all about your mom. I'm so glad to hear she is doing better and will pray for her this morning as she comes to mind. I am thankful for your simple faith in the midst of the life chaos.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Renee, I haven't posted before, but have received the devotionals for a few years, so I'm familiar with you guys! I just happened on your blog today, and really felt for your mom (her grandkids especially need her around & healthy!), and so prayed for her healing and your peace. I love your adoption story!
Blessings, Connie, Canada

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