Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sew much to tackle

So, I am getting closer to the day where I actually tackle a real project with my new (as if I ever used any other) sewing machine.  My fear grows as each step gets me closer - the anticipation is exciting and terrifying at the same time.  I recently cut out some "rectangles" to start a project I have been planning for months.  Unfortunately, I think many of them turned out to be trapezoids.  Oh well, at least I had the foresight to cut the front and back pieces together so they could be equally uneven.  LOL

While that is going on, we are moving to a different journey with our AVON experience.  We have found it increasingly difficult to reach our customers on a consistent basis due to my worsening back and health issues.  I find that many days, I just cannot get out of bed.  Usually because I cannot feel my feet and/or legs   (more about that in a minute.)  So, we decided that we will let our local customers know of our dilemma and allow them to decide which option works best for them.  We will continue to sell AVON, but only in a sense of selling online and at the flea market.  This allows me to go on days where I am able to get out of bed, I can sit as much as I need and stand as often as I need on those days and do not have to worry about any door to door type activities.  (Not that  door to door is undesirable, I worry because I simply cannot do it anymore.)  We will likely not even order books anymore, except maybe a few to allow people to get one if they wish.  No more leaving books at places of business, we cannot take on any new "regular" customers.  We can, however, order something for people if we don't have it in inventory and call them to let them know when it is in and available for pickup at the flea market or at another designated meeting spot after the flea market closes that day.  Hopefully this will work for our intimate customer base.  Everyone I have spoken to so far has been very understanding and very receptive to this change.  We also offer a discount to anyone that would prefer to pick up their books and orders from our home.  That will not change.

We recently attended a fundraiser for one of the area schools and found a booth for Melaleuca.  Initially I stopped to make conversation to try to network with another area businesswoman.  After hearing a little about the products, I was eager to learn more.  As the day progressed, we had more opportunities to visit with each other and she learned about us and our business and we learned about her and her business.  When I learned that Melaleuca had such great quality products for such reasonable prices, that I could make an income from referring other customers and I did not have to carry an inventory or re-sell people ever again (much less every two weeks), I wouldn't have to take orders, collect money or deliver orders either; I decided that I NEEDED to learn more.  She gave us her card and told us to check out a video online and let her know if we wanted to get signed up.  That night I was too drained to even think about anything, much less discuss this new opportunity with Michael, so I waited until the next evening.  That night, while I prepared a simple supper, I asked Michael to watch the video (after all, I had already heard enough to convince me we needed to hear her out) and let me know if I should call to set an appointment.  After he watched that video (and several others) and google searched for over an hour, he decided it was worth at least hearing her out.  Er are so glad that he did.  The products are terrific and the opportunities are great.  Even better, the training is wonderful and the support system even better.  What's more is that it is a business that would be as negatively impacted by my inability to get out of bed.  Perfect fit!

Now for the update on my back.  I had two more MRIs done on my back a few weeks ago.  The results are in and it is not looking great.  The lower back has degraded, but it is not a significant change since the last MRI a few months ago.  The official diagnosis, in case I managed to forget to mention it before, is spondyliolisthesis.  In other words, there is one section of the spine is moving forward on top of another and it is closing off the spinal canal at the very base, pinching the spinal cord off at the very base.  The upper back (in my neck area) is another matter altogether.  I had surgery in September 2011 to remove one bad disc and spinal fusion of just that joint.  Now, the discs directly above and below are in bad shape.  According to the doctor, very bad shape.  Essentially, I have something similar going on up top as to what is going on down below.  The spinal cord is being flattened, things are moving forward and apparently twisting at the same time and the discs are bulging and,'s just so much to keep track of.  I asked my pastor to take a look at the results (he was in radiology in his previous life) and he immediately recognized that I have what they (at least used to) refer to as "spun doll syndrome."  The idea being that if you took a rag doll and twisted it like you were wringing out a washcloth, that is what the spine is doing.  My doctor has referred me to an orthopaedic surgeon but my pastor has warned me that I should question the surgeon about when to do surgery.  He cautioned that since I have already had surgery once, I may need to wait since they may can only go in but so many times before they can no longer go in to do any further corrections.  According to everyone, this condition explains why I have been declining and have so many problems with not being able to feel my feet.  Thankfully, I am not alone in this walk.  I know that God has me in His hands and I will be okay no matter what.  I am also blessed to have received a lift chair to help me.    When the doctor prescribed the chair, I did not know how I would be able to get one since they were rather pricey (way beyond our budget) and insurance only covered a small portion of the cost in the form of reimbursement.  I am only able to say that God found a way and His way was amazing indeed.  

Well, I think I should call it a day.  My back has been giving me fits all weekend, so I am hoping to get some restful slumber tonight.  May God Bless you and good night!

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