Thursday, January 21, 2010

Why I run ... why I plunge ...

Please consider donating to this great cause.  Not just to see me plunge into Lake Raleigh like a crazy woman - but to give others a chance to know that they can do anything.  The way I see it - if they can overcome their obstacles - what's a little fat really?  It's inspiring to me and I hope it is inspiring to you, too.

Visit my fundraising page at to make your donation (no matter how big or how small).  All procedes are tax deductible and you will be sent a receipt for your donation.  The site is totally secure.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

2010 Torch Run and Polar Plunge

On February 20, 2010 I will be running in the 2010 Torch Run at NC State to benefit the Special Olympics. The Torch Run is a 5K run through NC State campus. You will notice the words “Polar Plunge” on the graphic to the left. There is a polar plunge into Lake Raleigh following the race. If I can raise $100 to support this great cause, I pledge to take part in the Polar Plunge and jump into Lake Raleigh following the race.

For more than four decades, Special Olympics North Carolina (SONC) has helped thousands of children and adults with intellectual disabilities realize new dreams through sports training and competition. As a result, most athletes’ lives are changed forever, from improved physical fitness and sports skills to enhanced self-confidence and social competency.

Special Olympics athletes in North Carolina are never charged a fee to compete. All of the athletes’ expenses – including training, uniforms, and travel related costs – are paid for through generous donations from individuals and businesses.

If you would like to donate to:

  • This great cause
  • Help me raise $100
  • See me freeze my tukas off in Lake Raleigh on February 20
then please visit my fundraising page at to make a secure online donation. Any amount to matter how small (or large) would be greatly appreciated.

I'm sure that if I do raise the money and do make the plunge there will pictures to be posted - so stay tuned!


Edited To Add: Just hours after posting this and emailing a few people about it I hit the $100 mark! Holy Cow! You people are awesome! Or sadistic - I haven't decided. Anyway - I will definitely be taking the plunge as I promised, but I am going to raise my goal, and I am thinking about other incentives I can come up with to promote the fundraising for this fantastic cause.  All suggestions are welcome!  But please don't stop donating just because I hit $100.  I may have to sell sponsorships or something at this point - like writing your name somewhere on myself while I run or plunge or something.  :) 

For those of you who have asked about the best way to donate - it is online through the link I posted above (also found as a widget on the right side of this blog). 

If you are local - make sure you come out and see this spectacle for yourself!  It promises to be quite the site.  :)

Monday, January 18, 2010

2010 Race Plans

I am trying to make goals for my running for this year.  I have already stated that one of my goals for this year is to do a half marathon.  I am actually looking at coordhinating a small group of people to get together to do the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon in October, but I want to have a good plan of what I will do before that.  So here is what I have come up with so far.

  1. The Torch Run.  This 5K race is at NC State University on February 20 and is a run to benefit the local Special Olympics.  In an effort to raise money for this race I will be placing the challenge out to all who would like to sponsor me that if I can raise $100 in donations I will not only run the 5K, but I will also participate in the Polar Plunge that takes place after the race.  Yeah - I'm that insane.
  2. Next I would like to do a 10K.  There is one on March 6 and one on April 10.  I may do both?  I will definitely do one or the other.  The one on March 6 is the Cary Distance Festival.  The one on April 10 is the 2010 Cary Road Race. It might be nice to see how my time improves at this distance.  I am already up to 6 miles on my long runs on the weekend - so I think the March race is definitely do-able.
  3. The InsideOut Sports Classic Half Marathon is on May 16.  This would be a good one for me to get my feet wet and know what I need to work on over the summer before I do the Myrtle Beach Half Marathon.
  4. And then to commemorate my first run last year, Jen and I will definitely be doing the Skirt Chaser if they offer it in Raleigh again (currently there are no dates for 2010 in Raleigh - but I'm pretty sure they will do it again - they had a fantastic turnout last year).  This course was actually pretty tough and the party afterwards I missed last year, but won't be missing this year.  :)
So that is my current plan.  Still so weird for me to be talking about doing such distance and endurance running.  I still can't believe that I love running so much.  I haven't been able to run as much as I want since my last surgery and during the cold of winter and it's been driving me crazy - I have actually dreamt about running - how crazy is that? 

Sunday, January 10, 2010

For Rebecca

So as many of you know - I am totally addicted to Facebook.  It's sad, really.  But recently, my friend Rebecca made the following status update:  " 'When God closes a door, he opens a window' may give us a warm fuzzy, but that's not scripture. Sometimes, when a door has been closed that you KNOW that you KNOW that you KNOW you are to walk through, maybe it's time to kick that door down, get help with a battering ram, or whatever it takes to get in the door. Why do we think everything should be so simple as to just turn the handle and walk in?"  and it really got me to thinking.

Have you ever had a time in your life where all the circumstances surrounding you were telling you "NO", but a still small voice was telling you - begging you - to take a step, or possibly a leap of Faith?  I have had several.  And as I look back on those times I can see God forming me into His daughter - teaching me to obey - teaching me to put my Faith and Trust in Him no matter what. (And can I just say I hate that lesson - hate it!  And yet I work feverishly to teach the same one to my own children.)

A specific instance for this lesson surrounds my BAHA.  I have talked about my BAHA before on this blog.  It is the "screw" in my head that allows me to attach my Bone Anchored Hearing Aid and hear like never before.  Since I have already talked about how I got to the point of making the decision to have the BAHA surgery - I won't go into that, but what I haven't talked about is what happened once I decided to have the surgery. 

I went forward with scheduling the surgery with my surgeon for a time when the company that I worked for at the time would be closed over the holidays so that I would miss minimal work. 2 weeks before my scheduled surgery I was notified by my insurance that they would not be covering the surgery. 

Um - what?  Well, how do I change that? 
Ask them to reconsider. 
OK - please reconsider. 
Nope - we won't cover that. 
Um, who reconsidered? 
The same guy who considered it the first time. 
Really?  Then why did I bother asking you to reconsider?  Now what? 
You can appeal the decision and someone will call your doctor and discuss it with him personally. 
OK - I appeal it - please call my doctor. 

My doctor called me back 2 days later and said "This is not going to work in your favor.  The guy who called me was the guy who has already denied you and he had no interest in what I had to say at all."  Come on!  Why am I appealing this if the same guy is reviewing it over and over again?  I tried to talk to this man myself - he was downright rude to me. 

Ok, sir - please explain to me why this is being denied?  I need the exact reason. 
Because this is a hearing aid and your plan excludes it. 
Really?  OK - let me look into that. 

So I did my research and low and behold - an exclusion in my insurance.  I was devastated.  I had finally found something that would help me hear again and now I was being told I couldn't have it.  I was ready to give in - my husband was ready to give in - all signs pointed to NO.  But something gnawed at my insides.  So I began to research this exclusion.  In my research I found this law - a Massachusetts law - that said that insurance companies had to cover implantable hearing devices that were deemed medically necessary.  The law was obviously written for cochlear implants.  The BAHA is not a cochlear implant - but it is an implantable hearing device because the "screw" part of the device is implanted in the skull.  Cool!  One problem - I am in North Carolina and this was a Massachusetts law.  No such law existed in North Carolina.

I thought I was at a dead end again - another closed door.  Except that ... the company I worked for was headquartered in Massachusetts.  :)  They administered their health insurance plans for the entire company out of their headquarters.  So even though the insurance company was headquartered in Pennsylvania - the Massachusetts law still applied!  One small problem - the moron who was determined that this was in fact a hearing aid and would still not be covered.

So I went back to my doctor and talked to him about the issue - told him about the research I had done.  He agreed to write a letter to insurance for me, and helped me to get in touch with the company that actually manufactures the BAHA.  They also wrote a letter explaining that the BAHA was not a hearing aid, but indeed an implantable hearing device.  Meanwhile I contacted the insurance company and asked them what my options were.  How do I get this reviewed by someone else.  I only had one more option open to me - a formal outside review.  I could request this.  I only got one chance, but I could request this outside review and submit a formal  appeal.  My appeal and information would be reviewed by an outside consultant and they would determine if I could get this covered.

Just one problem.  We were now 4 days before surgery and this would take at least 2 more weeks - possibly even longer because we were approaching the Christmas holidays.  I really needed to have the surgery over Christmas to minimize my time out of work.  I was a contractor and I didn't have a lot of sick or vacation time.  I had also been reprimanded for taking a lot of sick time up to that point (due to the problems with my ear as well as an interminable sinus infection that I was also going to have taken care of during that surgery). If I waited I felt I could literally loose my job.  If I went ahead with the surgery I could end up stuck with the bill - which had been estimated at $25,000.  Neither prospect was very appealing as you can understand.

So what do I do?  Do I go ahead with the surgery and risk ending up with an incredible debt of $25,000, or do I postpone the surgery to ensure I get it covered and risk losing my job in order to take the time to recover.  Here's where the rubber meets the road.  How important is this to me?  Is this really something God wants for me?  Do I pay attention to all the circumstances around me?  They all seem to be screaming NO - or at least NOT YET.  But every day there was another example of how not being able to hear well - especially not being able to hear my own children was becoming more and more and more of a problem.  Not just an annoyance - a problem.

And so I prayed.  God - what would you have me do?  And like He was sitting right next to me I heard "Hear me.  Be Still and know that I am God.  Listen to me.  I want what is best for you.  I have a good and perfect plan for you, Pam."  One of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord.  Plans to prosper you and not to hurt you.  Plans to give you a hope and a future." And a lot of people know this verse.  But as I looked the verse up in my Bible - I was struck by the next three verses: "Then you will call up on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and will bring you back from captivity."

And yet I still sat there going "Really God?  Seriously - what do you want me to do?" And at that moment a song came on the radio.  These were the lyrics of that song "Voice of Truth" by Casting Crowns:

Oh what I would do to have
The kind of faith it takes to climb out of this boat I'm in
Onto the crashing waves

To step out of my comfort zone
To the realm of the unknown where Jesus is
And He's holding out his hand

But the waves are calling out my name and they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times I've tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me
Time and time again. 'Boy, you'll never win!'
"You'll never win"

But the voice of truth tells me a different story
And the voice of truth says "Do not be afraid!"
And the voice of truth says "This is for My glory"
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth

Oh what I would do to have
The kind of strength it takes to stand before a giant
With just a Sling and a stone
Surrounded by the sound of a thousand warriors
Shaking in their armor
Wishing they'd have had the strength to stand

But the giant's calling out my name and he laughs at me
Reminding me of all the times I've tried before and failed
The giant keeps on telling me
Time and time again "boy, you'll never win!
"You'll never win"

But the stone was just the right size
To put the giant on the ground
And the waves they don't seem so high
From on top of them looking down
I will soar with the wings of eagles
When I stop and listen to the sound of Jesus
Singing over me

I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth

Was it just coincidence?  All of the instances where I was being told to "listen" or to "hear"?  HHHHHMMMMM.
So after much prayer, much discussion, much consideration, Daren and I decided to listen and believe the voice of truth.  God wanted me to hear again - we knew this for sure.  And despite all the signs to the contrary - we knew He could do great things.
So we submitted the appeal and went ahead with surgery.  That morning as I signed the papers at the hospital saying that I would take complete responsibility for the bill should my appeal not go through I was literally shaking as I signed my name.
As I was wheeled into the OR and the nurses and technicians went to work getting me ready for surgery we had some friendly banter going on.  I was so excited about the possibilities this surgery meant for me, and yet it was severely tempered by the fact that I may have to pay for it for years to come.  As my surgeon came in the room one of the nurses asked him if he wanted some music.  He said - yes - please put this in and handed her a CD. The song that started playing -was Voice of Truth.  I couldn't help but cry.  And as I drifted into the sweet oblivion of anesthesia I heard these words "I will soar on the wings of eagles as I listen to the sound of Jesus singing over me".
Surgery went well and recovery went well.  About a week after surgery - just 2 days before I was to return to work after the holiday break I got a phone call from my insurance company.  The appeal had been reviewed by the outside consultant who had decided that the surgery indeed must be paid for - in full
Having the BAHA has been one of the biggest blessings in my life.  But going after it was one of the scariest things I have ever done.
You are right, Rebecca.  "When God closes a door he opens a window" is not Scriptural. Sometimes He is insisting that you take that leap of faith - that you grab that battering ram and break down the door.  He never promised us that this life would be easy - He only promised us that He would be here with us all the way. That isn't to say that He does not use circumstances to confirm His will for us, or to point us in the right direction. But sometimes He allows the circumstances to contradict what we know He wants for us because He knows we are capable of getting past those circumstances to His good and perfect will for our lives.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Just because it's my blog and I can!

OK - it's my blog and if I want to be narcissistic I can.

I post a lot of pictures of myself.  I do that because it's the pictures that help me see the changes in me that I often times can't feel (physicall or mentally).  To be honest - in my mind I still see the fat chic who broke the chair last Christmas.  I know I shouldn't - I know in my head I have come a long way, but I was that chic for so long that it's hard to let her go.

With that being said - my husband made me so happy today.  He was loving the dress and boots I had on.  Someone at church grabbed me and said "I just have to tell you how fantastic you look."  I get that from time to time and it still makes me uncomfortable.  But Daren grabbed me from behind and pulled my coat off and said "I KNOW!  Doesn't she look fabulous?" like he was showing me off.  Now, again - I know (in my head) that he loves me and tha the is proud of the changes in me - but to have him do it in such a public way - show how he is proud of me - it totally took me off guard!  I was so not prepared for that!  My friend jumped up and down and went "That is so great!  You should show her off!  I love it!"  and it was like the whole thing was happening in slow motion in front of me - totally surreal.  Utterly unbelievable!

So here is what I was wearing today.  :)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Letting Go

I hijacked this post from my fellow blogger, Kellie (check out her blog here!  She's an incredible photographer and an even more incredible second grade teacher!).  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

What An Awesome God!

God's accuracy may be observed in the hatching of eggs.

For example :
-the eggs of the potato bug hatch in 7 days;
-those of the canary in 14 days;
-those of the barnyard hen in 21 days ;
-The eggs of ducks and geese hatch in 28 days;
-those of the mallard in 35 days ;
-The eggs of the parrot and the ostrich hatch in 42 days.
(Notice, they are all divisible by seven , the number of days in a

The lives of each of you may be ordered by the Lord in a beautiful way for His glory, if you will only entrust Him with your life. If you try to regulate your own life, it will only be a mess and a failure. Only
the One who made the brain and the heart can successfully guide them to a profitable end.

God's wisdom is seen in the making of an elephant.. The four legs of this great beast all bend forward in the same direction. No other quadruped is so made. God planned that this animal would have a huge
body, too large to live on two legs. For this reason He gave it four fulcrums so that it can rise from the ground easily.

The horse rises from the ground on its two front legs first.
A cow rises from the ground with its two hind legs first.
How wise the Lord is in all His works of creation!

God's wisdom is revealed in His arrangement of sections and segments, as well as in the number of grains.
-Each watermelon has an even number of strips on the rind.
-Each orange has an even number of segments.
-Each ear of corn has an even number of rows.
-Each stalk of wheat has an even number of grains.
-Every bunch of bananas has on its lowest row an even number of bananas, and each row decreases by one, so that one row has an even number and the next row an odd number.
-The waves of the sea roll in on shore twenty-six to the minute in all kinds of weather.

All grains are found in even numbers on the stalks, and the Lord specified thirty fold, sixty fold, and a hundredfold - all even numbers.

God has caused the flowers to blossom at certain specified times during the day, so that Linnaeus, the great botanist, once said that if he had a conservatory containing the right kind of soil, moisture and
temperature, he could tell the time of day or night by the flowers that were open and those that were closed!

Thus the Lord in His wonderful grace can arrange the life that is entrusted to His care in such a way that it will carry out His purposes and plans, and will be fragrant with His presence. Only the God-planned safe life is successful. Only the life given over to the care of the Lord is fulfilled.

When God takes something from your grasp, He's merely opening your hands to receive something better.

What a visual for me!  I was holding on so tightly to my food - to what I felt was control over what I was eating.  And when I finally let go - He had so much more for me - I had no idea how much.  What do you need to let go of so that you can discover what God has in store for you?

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

I've never been one of those to make New Year's Resolutions, but after having such a great 2009 and meeting so many of my goals - I've decided to make a go of it.  So here are a few:

  • I really want to run that half marathon.  This year.  I will do it.
  • I want to get to my goal weight.  I fear that I will bounce back to about where I am - that my body just isn't very comfortable any lower than this, but I would like to at least get there.
  • But most of all - I don't want to go back.  That scares me.
What are some of your resolutions?

Size 10!

OK - I thought it was a fluke when it happened back at Thanksgiving.  I tried on a size 10 pants that my sister had.  They fit!  Not great - but they fit.  Kind of unbelievable.  Then I bought a size 10 jeans without trying them on.  I thought that if they didn't fit they would be good for a goal to get in to them.  But I got them home - and they fit!  Unbelievable!  I don't remember being a size 10 - like ever.  I maybe was a size 12 in high school - but not a 10.  I remember being a 14 for the longest time.  So I had to share.  10 people!  10!!!!