7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 202)

— 1 —

Okay, I’m going to be bold and see if I can do a Quick Takes post today. As I mentioned, thinking is not exactly my strong suit right now, so we’ll see if I can come up with seven coherent things to say. (For new readers who have no idea what I’m talking about, here’s the scoop.)

— 2 —

Recovery has been going as well as can be expected, mainly thanks to my amazing support network. To my surprise, I’ve found that my biggest challenge is having to multitask in any way: i.e. I find that herding the baby upstairs and changing her diaper is less of a challenge than having to reply to two urgent texts while the kids are asking for snacks and my phone is ringing. The former situation leaves me winded and tired, but is doable; the latter makes me feel pretty certain that my head is going to explode and makes me want about 10 straight hours of solitude to recover.

— 3 —

One thing that’s on the horizon is the question of what things are going to look like over the long term. When you combine being homozygous for Factor II with having had a Deep Vein Thrombosis in 2006 and now multiple pulmonary embolisms, my doctors are just about ready to declare that I need to walk around with an IV heparin drip forever, and have made a few comments about “all the things we’ll have to discuss” about the long-term picture once the baby is born (I always hear the Jaws soundtrack playing in the background when they say that).

In addition to the medical questions, there are also the lifestyle questions. I can currently do about 25% of what I was doing a month ago, and we don’t expect that to get back to even 90% for quite a while. I just had to cancel two speaking engagements since I can’t fly right now. Also, depending on what damage was done and how these things heal, there’s a chance that I could have lung function that’s impaired to some extent or another for longer than just a few months. So I’m in a position of having to completely re-evaluate what I expect of 2013, and of my entire life. (And oh yes I did have the thought, “Well, at least that’ll make good blog post material.”)

— 4 —

One of the new-to-me sites that I’ve really been enjoying is the fashion blog The Evangelista. I mentioned multiple times to friends and to Joe that I’m a huge fan of that site and absolutely love what Christina Grace is doing. So imagine what a fangirl nerd I acted like when I ran into a friend of a friend whom I’d met a few times before at a wedding in December, and discovered that she is The Evangelista!

I thought the pictures of her on her blog looked familiar, but I’m so bad with faces that I assumed I was just making that up out of some weird stalker hallucination. Getting to meet her in person, especially when I had no idea that we knew people in common or that she’d be at that event, was one of those surreal “THE PEOPLE FROM INSIDE MY COMPUTER ARE COMING TO LIFE!” moments.

— 5 —

At this same December wedding we also saw Joe’s friend Ted Cruz, who was recently elected to the U.S. Senate in a race so filled with drama that even I heard about it.

When I mentioned to politico friends that we got to spend quite a bit of time catching up with him, they waited anxiously for me to treat them to all the juicy insider information I now possessed. When I reported that I am so apolitical that we mostly chatted about the weather in DC and Houston and reality show filming logistics, I think they almost started rending their garments and shouting at God about why he wastes those kinds of opportunities on people like me.

— 6 —

CatholicMom.com contributor Cassandra Poppe had a horrible accident occur at her house in which her four-year-old son, Fulton, was severely burned. He’s being treated at an out-of-state hospital a long way from home, which is of course very hard, especially since they have five other children at home. Please keep him and all the Poppes in your prayers, and if anyone could spare financial support for their family, you can do so here. I cannot imagine how hard that would be to have the family divided by a thousand miles while going through such a difficult recovery — I’ll definitely be praying for them.

— 7 —

To end on a bright (or at least wonderfully unexpected and bizarre) note, here’s something that makes me giggle every single time I think about it: Yaya has an IMDB page.


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  1. says

    So glad you’re out of the hospital and doing better! I can’t imagine how disappointed you must feel about having your decreased capacity, especially since you’ve become so fond of jogging! Hopefully, you’ll be flying down the street again before you know it. I’ll continue to pray for you and light my trusty Lourdes candle. I am confident that, as always, God will help you turn this all into joy.

  2. says

    Okay, but this Iowan doesn’t know about the Ted Cruz election drama. I’m like … where’s the link to the juicy details?! Just kidding. What a beautiful photo of you and Christina. Excellent job with the QTs! Good to see you blogging.

  3. says

    You are simply amazing. And that you can make me laugh when you are going through this is a testament to some saintly quality in you, my friend!!

  4. says

    Great job, Jen! God love you for trying to blog even while recovering–you are something else, woman! But please rest up as much as you can–we love you and want you around for ages to come.

  5. says

    Jen, have the doctors been saying anything about future pregnancies? I imagine that would be one of the first things they would talk to you about. From Minor Revisions, it seems you have an awesome Catholic OB, so I know you’re in good hands. Praying for you hardcore!!

  6. says

    I’m glad you are posting, and I wish you good health ASAP! I was very sick with recurring pneumonia which caused bad pleurisy. I just can’t imagine adding a pregnancy to that. My prayers are with you!!

  7. says

    I do hope you and Fulton recover quickly. If I actually believed in prayer I’d pray for both of you, but this way I’m just sending positive thoughts and well wishes.

    I’m really looking forward to your posts about how you change your 2013! I hope you’ll need less changes than you think.

  8. says

    Always glad to see you online Jen. Take it easy and please allocate some of those donations for a massage. Or maybe your insurance would cover it??? They seem reasonable. Continued prayers coming your way.

  9. says

    That *is* fun about Yaya. :)

    I can totally understand about diaper changing vs. brain power…all my sympathies on that score. I’m praying for discernment for you & all yours.

  10. says

    He never gives us more than we can bear. Jen, the Lord is showing you how much he loves you and how highly he thinks of you. Continued prayers.

  11. says

    Gee, I have a problem when my kids interrupt me in a task, and I’m perfectly healthy!

    I’ll keep praying to St. Michael to you. We wouldn’t want your wonderful voice for the truth to be silenced. Of course, no one can pull one over on God. Just trust Him and try to accept everything with peace.

  12. says

    It’s good that you’re well enough to host these again, but I agree with the others who are saying you shouldn’t over-exert yourself. Here’s hoping (and praying) for a speedy (and full) recovery.

  13. says

    I presume they are considering coumadin(warfarin) after baby comes to stop the clots? Just to say I’ve been taking it for 25 years following a heart vavle replacement when they gave me a nice clicky mechanical one and will probably take it the rest of my life. Just thought I’d throw that in there in case it helps.

  14. Jen G says

    I’m glad to see your post today! Many thanks to Hallie for keeping everyone updated on your condition. Please conserve your strength. I’m praying for you!

  15. says

    So happy to hear that you are recovering well! I cannot even imagine what it must be like… I get frazzled enough with just two kiddos. You’re a rock star! We are continuing to pray for you!

  16. says

    “Well at least that’ll make good blog post material”- you are just the best, Jen. Oh my gosh. Have been praying for you, like, A LOT A LOT A LOT A LOT. Oh man. Get better, okay?

  17. Heather says

    I pray that you heal fully too. I had a really freak medical thing happen to me during my last pregnancy and had to go through a very long, difficult recovery time. It has been 13 months and I am about 80% better and thankful. I just wanted to say that as an active woman who got cut down to doing a lot less, this can be a great opportunity to experience how much God loves you, no matter how much or how little you can do. I know that you are probably very frustrated or, if not now, will be at times. I admittedly, still get fed up with the change in my activity level. But, this is a wonderful spiritual opportunity to rest in God’s love and to experience how it is made perfect in human weakness. I thought I’d put that out there as encouragement.

    • says

      I love this! We get pretty caught up in being capable, and learning the value of weakness and inability is a lesson that doesn’t come naturally.

  18. says

    Praying for your recovery and the Poppe family, of course.

    I also have to say that it’s better to not recognize people. I do and I just blurt things out like, “Are you from X?” and they smile in a sort of pitying way.

  19. Sue says

    Hmm. You weren’t at Elizabeth and John’s wedding, were you? That would be too funny. I saw Devin R. there and recognized him right away. Poor dude, he had to stand and visit with a total stranger. Not for too long though.

    I’m keeping you in prayer and will add Fulton, praying for complete healing for both of you.

  20. NJ Kim says

    Jen, first of all, happy birthday! Secondly, I’m so sorry to hear about your breathing problems. I just had surgery to open up my trachea (it was closed off to only 6mm across) so I know what it’s like to have your breathing seriously compromised. I was like that for a few years including through my last pregnancy 3 years ago. May the Lord continue to bless you and your family and keep you safe. Lastly, thank you for posting about my sister, Cassandra Poppe, and her family at their hour of need. Knowing so MANY people are praying for little Fulton and the family is comforting and is what is giving Cassandra strength as she sits by his bed, isolated from the world. The Archbishop Sheen Foundation has been notified and we are officially praying for a miracle that will heal our Fulton, and further the Archbishop’s Cause for Canonization. Thank you for your support!