Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

     Before leaving for Philadelphia I started an article. It is in the polishing stage - to be posted soon. Since my longstanding readers might like a report of our Philadelphia experience I am posting this chatty piece first.

     Many thanks to those who said a prayer.  The emails and caring cards sent across the miles, were appreciated. I was touched to tears. What sympathetic readers I have. It is delightful to be home.

     I am sad to say that Nigel’s two-weeks of medical treatments in Philadelphia were unsuccessful. Dean and I sank under the disappointment initially. But we trust God for His ongoing blessings of life and love. Nigel has his low moments but generally he is looking forward to freelance work and has accepted having to write his own instruction manual (figuratively) for living with RSD by holistic means.  
     Through the long winter Nigel put his talent and skill to work by building us a new website. He is eager to finish it. You might be startled when you see how gorgeous the graphics are. What’s the hold-up? It needs more text. He is waiting on me.
     I am reading aloud, Miss Buncle’s Book by D. E. Stevenson, from my kindle. It came highly recommended. It makes us chuckle. Nigel has read - and listened on-line - to stories by P. G. Wodehouse. To be nice to his mother he says that in comparison, Miss Buncle’s Book is almost as funny. (It has a sobering side, too.)   

Charming set of old row houses at the foot of the hotel

     Each day, while Dean wheeled Nigel from the hotel along the city sidewalks to Drexel’s out-patient infusion suite - and back again - I was across the street - in the hospital. Those twelve days were indeed trying. But I kept an upward gaze. Aside from Small Fiber Neuropathy I was given an additional diagnosis of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome from a top-doc, the Professor of Neurology at Drexel. The results of this series of treatments (unique to him) are pending my next month of out-patient treatments. I am a sort-of experiment.
     Dean, Nigel, and our married daughter Yolanda (who came to help) stayed at the Hampton Inn. The photograph (below) was taken from their hotel-room-window. Hahnemann Hospital is a few blocks away. I was on the 14th floor. If I stood at the window in the hallway gazing at the busy city I could see their hotel-room-window.

As well as overseeing Nigel, Dean managed to visit me every day. Yolanda visited, too. One afternoon before Dean departed, he got an idea. “Let’s shine our flashlights at our windows at nine o’clock on the dot - as a final good night.” It worked. In the dark of the night I could see his little circle of light shinning clearly in his hotel window. He could see mine. My nurse smiled and thought this was cute. To me it was an inner comfort.

     How relaxing it is to be sitting in my sunny parlor again. It is necessary for women to find some way of counter-acting stress in their lives, especially when pain becomes a growing problem. Too often we shrug off, in disbelieve, the power that twenty minutes of calm can have in enabling us to unwind. Stitching a flower in four different reds was my chosen way to unwind from the stress of those two weeks in Philadelphia. At home in my parlor I re-entered the soothing, artistic world of sampler making. A rabbit with a nasturtium in its mouth and a fat bird perched on a branch, were stitched during subsequent sittings.

      This is a “make-do” sampler. I am only using threads leftover from other projects.
“Gold” Sophia decided, is the house color. The royal crown above the roof symbolizes
a Christian household where the family members seek to serve the Lord.  


     Commuting into Philadelphia is a daylong venture. The treatments make me weak and wobbly afterwards. The traffic makes the driver tired. Dean is an attentive husband and father. Recently, I dug out a picture of Daddy – complete with mustache and goatee – drawn during our daughter’s early childhood. He hasn’t changed much in twenty-five years. But I do think he now has a smaller head. 

Happy to be blogging again,
Karen Andreola  



  1. Welcome home, my friend. We continue to pray.

  2. God bless you all, Karen. I hope the inspiration and kindness you have shared with us over the years returns to you all many fold.

  3. Karen!!! Glad you are home and I'll be continuing to pray for you and your family! I really have enjoyed D.E. Stevenson in the past...I will have to try this title! I love your sampler and the flash-light story is very sweet!

    Bless you!! Health and rest to you!!!
    Amy (I changed my blog up a bit)

  4. Praying for your family!
    Beautiful sampler that you are working on.


  5. :-)

    To see a sun shine post over here made my day:-)

    Welcome back!

  6. I am praying for you, and for Dean and Nigel, too. These challenges are so difficult for us to deal with, yet our God is good, and I know you are looking to Him.

    Thankful for your time at home. I know it is restorative.


  7. Dear Karen, I am so thankful to see that you are back and so sad that things are not all better. I will continue to pray!

  8. Karen, I have thought of you --and prayed for you-- so many times over these past weeks. I am sorry to hear that the results were not those for which you'd hoped. I pray that God continues to give you His strength and His wisdom as you all take the next steps.

    It is good to see you back in the blogging world! Perhaps it will be therapeutic? I know that your words are helpful and encouraging to many of us!

    I love the story of your lights in the windows! It is a beautiful story of love!

  9. Dear Miss Karen,
    Until one of your more recent posts, I had NO idea that you and Nigel dealt with anything health related. I have been praying for you and your whole family. My family is well acquainted with ongoing health issues and pain. Not the same issue, but still continuous pain none-the-less. I will keep praying!!


  10. Welcome back Karen. I'm so sorry that Nigel's treatment wasn't successful. I will continue to keep him in my prayers. Your sampler was a great reminder to start a project I've been neglecting-not for the project's sake but for the comfort and peace it will bring to my day. You and your sweet family are in my prayers.


  11. Karen,

    I am so glad that you are home! I am praying for complete healing for you and Nigel! Thanks for the sampler inspiration! Wish I could give you a big hug!


  12. What a joyful surprise to find your post! I am comforted to read of another example of love finding a way in the midst of difficulty and separation. It IS important to say goodnight to loved ones and to know that each is being thought of by the other.

    I'm glad you are finding moments in your very own parlor!

    My father had surgery recently, and has been left with a sizable, noticeable hole in the side of his neck. He encourages me with his noble keeping on, even though he feels awkward and somewhat embarrassed by his appearance.

    Christ's strength is a precious gift. I'm so glad to know that you and yours share in that gift.

    Welcome home!

  13. So good to see your post come up - a welcome home to you and yours. I'll continue to pray for healing and the wise choices you will be searching and making as a family for your health issues. The Lord bless you as you serve Him in your quiet, gentle, beautiful way.

  14. So glad to hear you are home. I will continue to pray for you and your family.

    The flashlight story is nice...very comforting.

    Looking forward to checking out D.E. Stevenson.


  15. So happy to know you are all home, Karen.
    Your sampler is so so lovely.
    I know the Philadelphia days must have been hard, but it sounds like love made it much easier to bear (the flashlights story tells it all!)
    I will continue to pray for you all. I heard a quote today that may help you:
    Whenever I have difficulty accepting "the will of God for me" perhaps I should instead think of it as "the love of God for me".
    Peace to you and your family-

  16. So glad you are home safe! I couldn't but help think of the blood of Jesus when I saw the red threads you are embroidering. During the Lenten season I am especially reminded how He is a part of everything, even in the ordinary life things we do.

    Romans 5:1-2

  17. How good you are home in your parlour again, with some nice tea and nice books. (I loved Miss Buncle - isn't it charming? Do you know there are two sequels?)
    I am sad for Nigel, though, and hope he will be doing better somehow. And you too, of course.
    The photos of Philadelphia were interesting for me - the hospitals look like large corporations with their name there on top. In Germany, hospitals are municipal or state affairs, look quite boring and never have such special logos or so... Of course, you can expect great treatment, but I guess the outside wouldn't look quite convincing to you. An interesting difference, isn't it?
    Thanks for sharing your journey, and I hope sincerely you will recover at home and not need any more stays in Philadelphia - even if the photos are appreciated!

  18. Good to hear from you, Karen. :) I love your tale of flashlights and will continue praying health and rest and peace for you all. Such a pretty sampler; my fingers have been busy knitting. Will have to look for that title at the library...hope they have it! My son and husband enjoy Wodehouse, too. Blessings and love to you,
    Lisa :)

  19. You are still in my prayers. I put your family's name into the Divine Mercy prayer box at church, these are prayed for twice each day. With prayers, Kristyn Hall

  20. Dear Karen,
    Welcome home and welcome back to your blog. You were missed, but covered in prayer and I will continue to pray for healing for you and Nigel.
    Vonnie Skaggs

  21. Thank you for bestowing me here with your kind words. As I said to one of my friends in a letter, "Your words are not wasted on me."

    But above all, they are a reminder to me that our earnest prayers are never wasted when we bow to humbly our Heavenly Father.
    Karen A.

  22. Your flashlight story is one I'll remember always. It reminds me of something I read from Ann Voskamp that always encourages me:

    Pain can never trump love.

    I am so glad you are all safely back home, and clearly lifting your eyes unto the hills. Praying for you and your family, Karen!