Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Steelers Fans...

If any of yinz have any audio files of Steelers songs, can you e-mail them to me, or give me a link to where I can find them on the internet? I fully intend to annoy my co-workers on Friday.

Saturday, January 28, 2006


Hey. I was reading on the blog of a seminiarian about his J-term experience in an emerging church community in Seattle and I was intrigued.

I'm familiar with the concept of the emerging church, but I was always leery of it because it seemed so...unstructured. But after reading his blog, I'm thinking I feel more positively toward it. It sounds like, at least at this community, they get that the Church really is just the people of God, and that liturgy is the "work of the people." They just apply it differently.

So if anyone happens across this entry and has any suggestions of books/websites where I can read more about the emerging/postmodern church, leave me a comment.


Monday, January 23, 2006

I'm Awake

At 5 a.m. for no apparent reason. In fact, I've been awake since 2:15 a.m. for no apparent reason. Sigh.

So, my last post...Yeah. I had an allergic reaction to both the antibiotic I was taking for the staff infection, and the adhesive on the new dressing my manager tried using since I had so much drainage. I had hives from my scalp down to my thighs. I still have the last vestiges of them. Miserable only begins to cover it. But at least I don't itch or look like a leper any more. Hopefully, the patches on my face will fade before I go to Atlanta next week so that I can wear make up.

Did I mention that I was stuck...I mean honored to go to Atlanta next week? Apparently everyone in the company whose original hire date falls in first quarter has to go renew our company spirit. I would much rather stay home and work for the company than waste my time with this, but oh well.

Today's the day I go to get my lymph nodes evaluated. I'm nervous, but I know it's something I don't have any control over, and there is no use obsessing about it. That's a change for me. Don't know if it's the medication or the therapy, or a combination, but it's a good thing.

Oh, medication. Before I started taking the steroid to get rid of the hives, my doctor re-checked my blood for the thyroid hormones. The steroid apparently interferes with the test, and since I was due to get them checked this week anyway, she went ahead and did it that day. Well, the levels have actually gotten worse instead of better. She wasn't expecting that. She was expecting that she'd have to increase the dosage of the medication, but she was expecting to see some improvement or at least stabilization. She's not sure what the deal is, but if it happens when she checks it again in 6 weeks, I'll have to see an endocrinologist. Joy.

So how 'bout those Stillers? I'm not particularly a football fan, but I think that there is something imprinted in your genetic material that makes you a Steelers fan when you are born in Western PA. I'll actually be going to a Super Bowl party as a result. I'm very excited to wear the black and gold. Now if only I could find my Terrible Towl. I think it got left behind at St. Al's Church and Country Club.

Boy, I haven't written about that place in a long time. I've kind of put it to the back of my mind, even though I get frustrated whenever I read their bulletin. I don't know why I don't just ask them to take me off their roles, especially in light of what I'm about to write about.

[Deep Breath] Well, I've made the decision to go through the inquirer's class at the church I've been attending in preparation for becoming Lutheran. Yes, I've decided to take that plunge. I know that this will come as a surprise to a few of you who "knew me when," but I think that it is the right choice for me. I feel more welcomed in that little church than I ever have in any Catholic parish I have ever belonged to, even the chapel community at Gannon. I feel like less of a hypocrite theologically speaking as well.

For as long as I can remember, I was basically a devout cafeteria Catholic. I don't think I could have used that terminology, but I first realized it in 4th grade when I got punished for saying that I didn't see any reason why girls couldn't serve at the altar, since they did in my mom's church (she was an ELCA Lutheran). I learned at that point to just quietly accept what I could accept and reject what I couldn't. Everyone was happy as long as I could parrot back the company line on demand when I was in school, and teach the "correct" theology when I taught religion.

But I wasn't happy. It became increasingly difficult to hear God's still, small voice inside me. My own doubts and frustrations were drowning out that quiet whisper. I was angry that my church didn't value my contribution as a single, lay woman as much as it valued a married person, priest, or religious, or in some places even a single, lay man. It pained me to watch the youth ministry in a Church that claimed to value all life intentionally ignore the needs of the quietest in their midst, the ones who didn't quite fit in. And I hated, hated, hated the fact that in the parish where I worked, as well as many, many other parishes I was familiar with, status, money, and connections had more to do with determining your worth than the simple fact that you are a child of God.

Now, I'm not naive enough to not realize that there is some of that in every organization, religious or secular, and that it is an inherant part of the culture of the old South. But that doesn't make it right. I've seen less of that in the small congregation where I've been attending church for hte past year and a half, though. I suppose part of that is because it is such a small congregation (only about 300 members, as opposed to almost 8000), but from everything I've read and experienced, it seems to be a part of the Lutheran culture. There is also far less judgment than I ever experienced in the Catholic church. I have a theory as to why that is, but I'm not going to share it until I'm further into these classes and know more about what I'm talking about.

I suppose I won't know until I die if this is the right choice to make. But I'm pretty well at peace about it. God and I are talking on a regular basis again. I'm remembering how much I've always loved Scripture, and I'm getting back into Bible study. And I feel like even my dad would approve. Fear of disappointing him was what kept me in the Catholic church for so long. But I believe that he would want me to be wherever it is I can find God.

Wow. After a rambling, unfocused start, I eneded up getting pretty deep for having only three and a half hours sleep. I can catch another hour if I fall asleep right now. So until later...

Thursday, January 19, 2006

I'm Cranky

I'm itchy, I'm tired, and I don't feel good. It is taking all of my energy to keep from biting people's heads off today. In general, Life Sucks.

Just thought you all should know.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

So, I haven't been here for a while, huh?

Oh, I've thought about writing, but then I'll get distracted with something else, and I just never quite got around to it.

So, I guess I should share what's been going on in Sheryl land, huh?

Well, first of all, it doesn't feel like January. There should never be a day where the temperature hits 80 in January. Never, under any circumstances. Just my opinion. Though some of the leaves down here did actually change color this year, so I suppose that's something.

So, the health stuff I've been hinting at. Well, my doctor did prescribe an antidepressant, and it is helping. I'd like to be on it no longer than a year, personally. Anyway, she did a whole bunch of tests and discovered that although my blood count, blood sugar, cholesterol, and insulin levels were normal (that last was a bit of a surprise, though), my thyroid levels were low. So I'm also taking medicine for that. She also found when she did a physical that my thyroid was significantly enlarged. That's where the fun begins.

So because of the enlarged thyroid, she ordered an ultrasound. Well, the ultrasound showed several nodules, but it also showed some lymph nodes that shouldn't have been there. So she ordered a CT scan. Unfortunately, after making me wait forever for the results of the scan, the scan wasn't readable due to an "artefact" on the films right in the area they were concerned with. Basically, that means that either I moved or something was screwy with their machine.

My doctor decided that rather than have the CT scan done again right away, she wants me to see an ENT to have my neck evaluated. She said that most likely it's all due to my thyroid, but it could very well be something else as well. I see him next week.

It just makes me nervous to think about. I mean, I see all kinds of little things that add up into a scary big picture. I'm having tons of skin problems all of a sudden (including an apparent allergy to adhesive tape). I've been having trouble swallowing for over a year now, but I had just chalked it up to my imagination. I realize now that it very well may not be. And last weekend I developed another abscess/staph infection, which meant more draining and packing, and this time the packing really hurt.

My manager, who is an RN, is concerned that there may be some kind of immune thing going on. But that doesn't make any sense considering that I haven't been sick (except for the staph infection and an ear infection) all year. Everyone else in the office has had strep at least once. She said that she would be thinking diabetes if the test results hadn't been completely normal, or HIV infection if there was any chance I had ever been infected (which there isn't). I just don't know what to think.

Regardless, the fact remains that I am scared.


I was going to write more on another topic, but I'm tired now. I'll try to write more tomorrow.