Thursday, October 28, 2010

Message of hope...literally.

I remember the day that I went for an evaluation at the Oxygen company. I was sitting at a table along with another patient. We were both being evaluated to see how much oxygen we needed and what type of tanks would be best for our care. That was the day the devil laughed at me. I will never forget the frail blue-ish face of the other patient, an old man who looked like he was in his 70's and had probably smoked all his life. My heart sank when the therapist confirmed that my oxygen saturation was in fact worse than this man's. He only needed the small 'back-pack' tank. I, on the other hand, was going to need liquid oxygen because my sats were so low. I felt so bad and cried my whole drive home. I didn't want to talk to anybody but the situation I was in was so depressing and horrifying. I couldn't believe I was in worse shape than that old man. I could almost see the devils' face laughing at me, mocking me for living such a straight life.

I have to admit, I cried this morning in the shower thinking that I might not be here to see my little boy go to Kindergarten next year. I kept trying to visualize my little girl carrying a back-pack on her way to school and I couldn't visualize it. It broke my heart. While I was showering somebody left a message on my home phone...

It was the nurse who had just evaluated my need for oxygen a few days prior. I had to take this little machine home and tape an Oxygen Sensor to my finger overnight to monitor how low my oxygen saturation might go down. She said in the message, "Elizabeth, after speaking to your doctor and evaluating the results of your sleep test, we have decided to discontinue your oxygen therapy. You are doing EXCELLENT!!! They will soon contact you to pick up all the tanks and equipment that you don't need anymore."

Words cannot describe how happy I was! I had just finished crying my eyes out to God. Asking Him the 'why' question and going into a depressing pitty party for myself. I looked in the mirror, eyes red and swollen and smiled at my God. I felt His warm embrace as he confirmed that He is there, taking care of me. My future is still unknown, but that's okay. He continues to send me messages of hope, like todays message on my answering machine. I'm not going to delete that one. I'm going to remind myself to listen to it everytime I am feeling down.

Life as Lizzy.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Potty Training

Potty Training is definitely hard as it is when you're 'healthy', but for me it has definitely been very interesting to say the least. I find myself laughing at the simple tasks associated with basic potty training skills that I obviously lack. haha! Read on...

My little L is 2 1/2 years old and had started stripping her diapers off whenever she was 'wet'. So I decided maybe it was time to start potty training. She is at the point where she wears an underwear all day long and pees in the potty all the time. I should be ecstatic, right? Wrong. Here comes my dilemma...I am finding myself getting tired and out of breath every time she pees in the potty because this means I am up and down the stairs, running back and forth, and bending down and up more than usual. Hence, we only have one little potty upstairs because I haven't got the chance to buy a second one and she doesn't like the little toilet seat I had originally bought for our small downstairs bathroom.

Sad visual: picture me practically crawling up the stairs slowly, yet swiftly, breathing in as much air as I possibly can seeing a light at the of the tunnel as I reach the last step on the second floor. :(

Happy visual: She waves bye-bye to the draining urine and says, 'Bye-bye pipi!' as she empties the basin into the 'big' toilet then flushes it. :)

Laughing visual: If I don't get there in time, she'll splash her urine all over the floor as she attempts to carry the basin from her little potty to the big potty.

Finally, we've pardoned her on the basis of innocent age for the fact that she has no concept of being financially frugal as her parents are with even the most minuscule toiletries like toilet paper -thanks Dave Ramsey. I find myself thinking out loud asking sarcastically, 'Do you think the toilet paper grows on trees?' (actually it kinda does, lol). I have found several trails of TP slithered across the entire bathroom as if it were a white laboring anaconda helplessly searching for a resting place.

Should I laugh or cry?

:) Life as Lizzy.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

My Heart Catheterization

I know I haven't written on my blog in a while, I'm sorry!!

About a month ago I underwent my second Right Heart Catheterization. Although for some it might be a minor out-patient procedure, to me it was none-the-less, well, a little intimidating. I am ashamed to admit it. I have such a strong faith in my God but still going into that O.R. intimidated me. You think I should feel totally comfortable in the O.R., seeing as I work there; but being on that operating table was scary.

I was given a little cocktail, as they call it, through my I.V. but for the most part, I was awake during my procedure and felt a lot of poking and prodding. I will never forget it. At one point I felt I was dying! My heart felt as if it was skipping several beats, then all of a sudden, I remember everything starting to go black. My finger tips began to get cold and numb and I couldn't help but cry. Still, I wasn't afraid, I kept thinking of all the people out there praying for me. Their faces ran through my mind as if a slide show. I could see them smiling at me and so I thought of their prayers. I felt their embrace as I imagined them with their heads bowed praying out to the Lord for me. Wow! Those are true friends!! Then, before I knew it, I'd doze off into sleep.

Suddenly, the procedure was over. I felt one nurse come over and wipe the tears from my face. I think I actually smiled at her with my eyes closed. Funny.

God gave me such an intense spirit of peace and I knew I was fine. My Lord had taken care of me, as always. He heard all the prayers that had been lifted up for me.

The very next day, I started getting meals delivered to my home. Everyday for two weeks! I couldn't believe it!! The ladies at my mom2mom group had all assigned themselves to deliver meals to my home. Two of my friends, even took my 4 year old out for play dates. I have never experienced such love before. I got to witness people truly being the hands and feet of Jesus. This is what has made my love for God even stronger. Seeing, regular ordinary girls, just like me, going out of their way to comfort me; to support me and to show me love. My Lord has delivered such an amazing family to me. And I can't help but praise Him. I yearn to do His will even more now. If it wasn't for this illness, I probably would have never made such good friends. And although my sickness can be scary, I realize that this illness has brought such joy to my life through different people and experiences, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I know His will is being done in my life. Life as Lizzy.

"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing." ~James 1:2-4

Friday, June 25, 2010

His Unfailing Love

"Don't tear your clothing in your grief,
but tear your hearts instead.
Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate,
slow to anger and filled with unfailing love.
He is eager to relent and not punish."
~Joel 2:13

Instead of getting angry at trials and burdens let us remember that our Lord is filled with unfailing love, let us repent and search our own hearts and trust that He is eager not to punish us.

The Lord says, "Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts" (verse 12). I believe that when the trials come, no matter how terrible, we should come to Christ and show him even our hearts' evil ways, transparent in repentance. Clean out your heart and turn your back to sin, go to Him and he will forgive.

"Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with
faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness." ~1Timothy 6:11

The Lord has been impressing in my heart to seek His ways more and more. Everyday I am reminded to live a godly life; to pursue righteousness, to have faith in Him and in His decisions for my life; to love with His love and look into people's eyes with loving eyes. To persevere in searching for His will in my daily tasks. To be more gentle, especially with my children.

I pray that He will increase my hunger for Him even more. And no matter how many things I must go through, I will remind myself of Job, and his response when he had lost everything...

"I came naked from my mother's womb,
and I will be naked when I leave.
The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away.
Praise the name of the Lord!" ~Job 1:21

And even after he was struck with an illness, even the devil thought he'd curse the name of the Lord. Yes, he went through his struggling mind as he felt the pain of sickness but I grab on to the promise of God where he was told the following:

“But look, God will not reject a person of integrity,
nor will he lend a hand to the wicked.
He will once again fill your mouth with laughter
and your lips with shouts of joy.
~Job 8:21-21

God restored Job and his health and family more than ever before...

"Job lived 140 years after that, living to see four generations
of his children and grandchildren. 17
Then he died, an old man who had lived a long, full life."
~Job 42:16

Thursday, March 18, 2010

"I'm Listening"

During my quiet time with the Lord today, He brought a revelation to me. Something that I had not thought of for quite some time now. In the midst of my prayers for others, He quieted my soul and shut my mouth. Prayer list in hand, He interrupted my pleading for others' requests and embraced me with love.

Following my Church's Womens Bible Study devotion, I had been reading Romans 8:37-39 and even drew little hearts by the verses in my bible because I loved so dearly what it said...

"Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to seperate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

At this moment, as I finished reading the verse and proceeded on drawing my little hearts next to my newly found prized verses, I heard the voice of my son in the back yard. He had been playing with a neighbor who took one of his toys away. J began pleading to the boy to give him his toy back, "...please, my mommy bought it for me. Give it back." I heard the sweetness in his little voice, I heard the cry in his precious little heart and the innocence in his tender mind and right away I thought of my Abba Father. ...Mi papito lindo.

Oh how it broke my heart when I realized that God's heart is broken when He sees his own children hurt, like mine did for my son, be it as small as losing a toy. I thought to myself, "Oh my little son, I wish you didn't hurt, I wish you didn't cry." And suddenly, I saw my Lord, catching every tear I had ever cried. I saw Him embracing me and hugging me when I felt lonely. Then, I heard Him say to me, "I'm listening." -and there it was. I remembered the time I asked loudly and angrily to the Lord, "Why God am I going through this???!!?!? Are you even listening??!?!!"

"I'm listening."

The tears began falling off my face as I marveled at the grace He has for me. How wonderful and sweet the embrace is of a loving Father, who forgives His children. -who forgave me.

"For the mountains shall depart, And the hills be removed,
But My kindness shall not depart from you,
Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed.
Says The Lord who has mercy on you."
Isaiah 54:10

Friday, March 5, 2010


"Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart,
All you who hope in the Lord." -Psalm 31:24

These past few days I've encountered surreal moments that have left me with a benevolent thought. The other day I was walking alone on campus at my church. It was a beautiful crisp day. There was a question in my head that kept repeating itself to me... "One word, choose one word to describe your future." I didn't know how to answer at first but have gotten nudges from the Lord telling me what I should answer. My answer? Hope. I have hope.

It's funny that I have these conversations with myself. And even funnier that my brain keeps challenging me with questions that keep me thinking for days on end! But I feel that that is how the Holy Spirit works. This is how He speaks to me and I converse with Him. :)

Back to my post:
He has kept reminding me that I've got hope in Him. I've been reading my Bible so much lately and have consequently self-concluded that the entire Bible is a book of hope. In the past, I fell asleep with the many scenes of my yesteryears or the burdensome forthcomings that my tomorrow might hold. Now I don't think about what was anymore or what is to come. I don't burden my thoughts with a should've, would've, could've mentallity. I fall asleep with a sense of anticipation. One day my Lord will come and take me away to heaven. How precious that is. I have something incredible to look forward to. No more tears, no more pain, the only thing left will be the joy of sharing His presence. Everything that occurs on this Earth is for that purpose, so that we may be able to live forever with Him. I love that song that says, "I can only imagine..." because that is all I can do is imagine what it'll finally be like.

My heart has been strengthened. My hope has increased. My life is lived with an expectation. There's so much to look forward to when He's got the To-Do List of my soul. Because this body is just a body, but my true life is my everlasting soul. The smiles of life that He gives me cause an impression on me so wide and sublime. A simple butterfly fluttering by showing me its' grandure is a smile upon me, from my Lord. I was chosen to be the highlight of that precious little butterfly's 3-day life span. So, while I'm on this little thing called Earth, I will choose to smile back. :)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Iron Chef testimony

I was alone, had just accepted the Lord in my life and the depression that had conquered my past life was on the prowl again. I felt like little red robin hood, making my way through the woods of life. Steering clear of the dangerous places but no matter how fast I ran, or where I went, it still managed to pat me on my back. Sadness. Then, I felt the love of God embrace me. I had never felt that before in my times of lonliness and now it was different. HE was there. And I was able to fight off this sneaky perpetrator. I remember writing a poem and asking GOD to use me. Simply that. Just to use me in a way that I'd help to impact people. I have to admit, that for many years after that I never felt useful to HIM. I thought, "Well, Lord...Are you gonna use me or is this Christian thing just so that I can be happy with myself, by myself?"

On Sunday Feb 7th, HE spoke to me. Actually, HE'S been speaking to me for a couple of years or so since my diagnosis. But that particular day HE gave me the response I had been longing for since I was 16 years old. I got to experience the feeling of actually being a part of something that made a difference. I am so thankful to Crossroads Christian Church and Pastors Chuck, Ronny and Tony for doing such an amazing job. What started out as a funny skit, or spoof on Iron Chef ended up being an emotional and loving testimony of my life and what it's like living with Pulmonary Hypertension.

As I stepped forward that sunday onto the stage, a rush of excitement filled my being. The place was packed and with all the bright lights, all I could see were the echoing shadows of people sitting in the audience. I kept thinking of what I was going to say. The spot light would be on me, afront thousands and I couldn't help but tremble at the thought. My mind was slowly going blank and my thoughts began to ramble in my head. As I began to hear Pastor Tony Wood speak about my life, my battle, my husband and kids, I did the only thing I could do, take deep breaths. One breath in and and another out, slowly and hypnotically calming. I wondered if anyone could see me shivering. Slowly I wispered to myself, "Jehova Shalom, Jehova Shalom, Jehova Shalom."

Then something amazing happened...a flashback. H and I had just gotten home from Hollywood. I had had a procedure done, called a Right Ventricle Cardiac Catheterization. They inserted a tiny wire into my groin area that traveled through the inside of my artery, all the way up into the right side of my heart. This would measure the exact pulmonary arterial hypertension. It confirmed my diagnosis. Once home, I was on bed rest. My mom and aunt helped me up the stairs and there in my room was waiting my aid and comrade, my portable oxygen concentrator. It was a noisy thing. So I put on the nasal cannula and breathed in the cleansed air, laying myself down in bed, as if welcoming an imminent death. H walked in and simply gazed at me in bed, seeing the tubes up my nose. He later confessed that at that moment, he saw his life flash before his eyes. 30 years old, he forcefully braced himself on becoming a caretaker of his sick young wife.

The mic was on me now, the spotlight glared and released what seemed like an emotion of triumphant beams. Almost two years hence, I was on bedrest, on Oxygen 24/7, disabled from I was on stage, as healthy as I'd ever been with thousands of people praising my Lord along with me.

My words...

"I am Liz Blanco and that is MY story. Ever since being diagnosed I have realized how important our time here on Earth really is. And I can't tell you what a blessing it's been since giving myself completely to the Lord."

It is by The Lord's stripes, that I am healed. (Isaiah 53:5)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


One of the things that makes me so happy and always, always brings a smile to my face is getting my Short, Non-Fat, No-Whip Mocha from Starbucks in my own cup (I'm saving the world one drink at a time). Oh, and I cannot forget the nice warm Sausage Breakfast Sandwhich that fills my tummy while I drive to work in the mornings to my extant 12 hour shift. You never know if it might be one of those days where you're running back and forth and might not get to befall an appropriate lunch, let alone pee. So a girl's gotta find something to keep a smile on her face other than screaming patients...just kidding, my patients always love me
-I'm serious!

I have to add, everyone in the unit knows my cups. I'm the only one walking into the unit in the morning with red eyes from 3 hours of sleep (I can't make myself go to sleep early on the nights I know I'm working the next day -it's so thrilling), with a cheery 'goodmorning' greeting to everyone I pass in the hospital hallways accompanied by a cute (and fashionable) Starbucks Tumbler. Twice have been the times when I forgot my trophy Tumblers at the unit Lounge then left on vacation. The whole time I'm away, I kept imagining the mold growing on the inside walls of my precious tumbler. That's enough for a nightmare right there, I tell ya!

To my surprise, both times that I came back the first thing I did was desperately look for my tumbler, without letting it on that I'm sooo worried someone might've stolen my Starbucks tumbler!!!!! Agghhhhh!! ...I returned to find the tumblers completely and sympathetically WASHED clean.

I have an angel looking out for my Starbucks tumblers.

Here are some pics of my cute Starbucks tumblers.

Sring time cup...

Just for fun cup...

Valentine's Day cup...

Holiday Cup...

More to follow as they become available.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Post New Year Reflection

I don't know if it's just the post New Year Blues -in my case, the Post New Year's Reflections- or maybe it's that my little girl turned two years old a couple weeks ago. H and I were reminiscing on how we were living two years ago with a newborn baby girl. I can hardly even believe it. Life was so hard at the time, so many things were going on and stress ruled our inner beings that we could hardly catch our breath. We had just moved back from Texas, were financially struggling, living off of our prior good credit score via our credit cards, had just started a new business, I was gonna start working part time in a new hospital and well, we had a new born baby to keep me and my rambunctious 2 1/2 year old company!!!! Ahhhhhh!!! Least to say, life was not easy.

...Life as Lizzy!

But now it seems we've kinda gotten hold of the boat's helm and the waves of the cumbersome ocean have subsided and let us relax. It seems that the tension in our arms from manouvering the heavy wheel of life is able to relax for just a little bit now. Splashes of thunderous waves aren't hitting us left and right anymore and we're able to actually take off our rain coats and those clunky rain boots. Flip flops anyone? Maybe we might even get to get a REAL vacation this year. Did I mention my 10 year wedding anniversary is coming up??? -H, I hope you're reading this.

No, life's not easy. I sometimes stop to think how other couples might've coped with what we've been faced with. The disease and all, because it's not easy. It's been a very trying time for us in so many aspects, my husband especially. We've gone through a stressful rollercoaster filled with emotional twists and turns that frankly, I don't know how others with diseases cope. Hearing about so many divorces and people getting makes me sad to think. They have their health. -and I don't. What would I give to go back a few years and do things differently. I feel like I could've accomplished so much more. Although, I have no regrets, I am still perturbed by the infamous phrase 'what if ?'. But I've come to realize, I love my husband and my children so much, that who cares if I've got this disease??? I'm alive now and I'm with my beautiful family.

Proverbs 17:1
"Better a dry crust eaten in peace, than a house filled with feasting-and conflict."

Thursday, January 14, 2010

My new endeavor...

Okay, so many of you might know by now that I cannot sit still. I'm such a demanding multi-tasker that something's always going on in my life....School, kids, work projects, mom's clubs, women's clubs, church, parties, park outings, shopping, HUSBAND (oops, almost forgot that one). Haha!

Anyways, this time I've gone on a frenzie and started writing kids' books!! Yup, I've got three already written. And so many more on the way. For those who are also following me on Facebook, you'll know from all my status updates that my mind is going round and round exloding with more book ideas. I've always LOVED to write. I actually want to write a novel one day but for now, I will try this baby step, aside from blogging, and actually try this children's book writing stuff.

I am not going to give too much info or titles or what the books are actually all about, or I'd have to kill you. ...But I will say that my 4 year old J is already my biggest fan! He said he prefers my stories to the ones we read from all the library books we rent. So that is the best critique I've gotten so far. :)

The Happiest Place on Earth

The Happiest Place on Earth

Peaceful Hawaii

Peaceful Hawaii