this ‘n that.


I hate mass communication. Really. I do. I think it’s impersonal and sterile. But it’s the best I’ve got!

THANK YOU for all your notes, emails, texts and tweets. Y’all are the SWEETEST, most THOUGHTFUL, LOVING community. EVER. Golly, do I love you so!

Here’s the short version:

Regarding being in the hospital: I’ve had 4 “episodes” over the last 2 months. It’s like a vice grip or industrial strength rubber band around my rib cage. The first time it happened, it woke me up out of a dead sleep at 3:30 in the morning. I actually talked about it that morning on the air, and the show became an on-air version of  ha!  When the episode happens, it’s debilitating pain that makes me nauseous/light headed and sweat like I’ve jumped in the pool. It happened again Monday night before Abbey’s basketball game. I couldn’t get outta the car in the parking lot. It starts like it’s heartburn, and continues. I texted Pete inside and told him to come help me. I seriously thought I was dying! He took me to the ER. They ruled out heart attack. That’s good!! (I knew it wasn’t my heart, btw). And pulmonary embolism. That’s good too! The Dr. said it could be my gallbladder, but I wasn’t tender in that area…and the pain subsides after 45 minutes-ish.  With gallbladder, it typically doesn’t subside, and usually happens after eating fatty foods. This wasn’t me.  I spent the night at the hospital and had an EKG, cat scan, x-rays, and countless viles of blood taken. All my levels look normal. No clots, etc. I’m actually very healthy! As a mater of fact – and you’ll laugh as hard as I did! – they said, “are you a runner? You have a runner’s heartbeat and your blood pressure looks athletic.” LOLOLOLOL! I said, “Look at me. Don’t I look like a runner?”  Yes, you can laugh with me. And we all know I’m a FAKE runner!

Anywho, I’m following up with a GI doc to rule out gallbladder, etc. It could also be acid reflux, gastritis etc. Who knows. Maybe it’ll land me on Dr. Oz!  Of course, the Doc said it could also be stress. I feel like I handle stress pretty well. But maybe I don’t.

As I’ve shared semi-openly, the last six months (on a personal level, not this crazy “episode” stuff) has been a season of leaning into Him, unlike I’ve done in several years. He has asked me the question: Do you believe Me? Do you believe the things you say you believe? I have had to answer honestly….”God, I believe. Help me with my unbelief.” I’m learning that I believe for others; but I don’t believe for myself or my family. Sitting where I sit, I get to see the “red bows”/the happy-ending stories. All the time! And sometimes I forget there’s a hard, long-suffering, but committed road that folks have traveled. Ron & Denver didn’t become friends one day, and write a book together the next. Renee’s daughter didn’t die one day, and she and Eric started doing DUI presentations together the next. Both were journeys. So, I’m journeying with God right now, walking the road with my mom, with my best friends Chris & Kellie and Chris’ cancer diagnosis, and with other close family members who are deeply wounded and need the hand of the Healer. My faith is being challenged. And that’s a good thing. A faith unchallenged is a faith unchanged.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. {Hebrews 11:1}

28 Responses to “this ‘n that.”

  1. Bobby Bryan November 29, 2012 at 4:50 pm #

    Hopefully you are feeling better! GOD loves to challenge us on a daily basis and I see that you are up to it…

  2. Ursula Phillips November 29, 2012 at 4:54 pm #

    Thank you so much for sharing! Over 5 years ago I started a journey with unknown, extreme pain, fatigue and many other conditions. At first they thought it was my heart and even had a heart catherization. Months and many, many tests later they ruled it as Fibromyalgia. What a life changer! But, I have leaned on God so strongly during these years. Sometimes not as strong as I should, but, always remembering He was and is in control.
    I pray they find an answer soon and I am sure you have more faith in God than you realize.
    God Bless!

    • Marcy Mulligan November 29, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

      Dear Ursula,
      God bless you! Fibro can really wear you down, I know. For me, it is enough to know that God is still in control, and He allowed this to happen to me, so I don’t have to know the reason why, just have to trust Him through it all.
      Also, I would like to encourage you if you don’t have a Dr. who is a Fibro specialist to find one – the best time I have had since my diagnosis was when I had someone really taking care of me. I hope that you are taking good care of yourself.

  3. Marcy Mulligan November 29, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

    God bless you sister, I know how difficult it can be when you don’t know for sure what is going on. Know that you are surrounded and uplifted by “so great a cloud of witnesses” & God is still in control ~ no matter what. I am in agreement with you in praying for God’s perfect will to be accomplished in our lives, and for Our Heavenly Father to be glorified through this situation in yours.
    Keep trusting Him,

  4. M Reveron November 29, 2012 at 5:06 pm #

    Dear Carmen, I experience something like that as well, out of the blue, a crushing, CRUSHING feeling all around my front chest area and to the back as well…affects my breathing, can’t move my arms either, can’t lay back on my back, just basically stood and walked around for 3 days praying and believing God would heal me. I believe mine is related to my back, and I’m wondering if maybe yours could be too. Sounds like they didn’t do any scans or mri’s of your back…praying for you…

  5. Brian Harnage November 29, 2012 at 5:07 pm #

    Loved the post. My faith is being restored too in God’s ability to do as he said he would. I now see what God is doing in my life through me and why my life is going the path God is leading it on. My long time school friend who I’ve loved has come back in my life and we have the chance to Marry and through me God will bring Mary to salvation with Jesus. The devil has separated us for now but God aloud it to strengthen my faith in him and renew my relationship with him too. Thank you for your faith and walk it matters how we live and your an inspiration to so many and me too!!!Please keep Mary and I in your prayers for she is my sole mate!!! God bless you always Brian.

  6. Dale November 29, 2012 at 5:11 pm #

    the part of your story saying how you do believe for others and find it so hard to believe for yourself and your family is me too i am finding out..I need to get praying for God as you put it to help me unbelieve…prayers for your recovery..Dale

  7. Shannon November 29, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

    Carmen, I have been so blessed to get to hear you in the mornings. I am so greatful that you are so honest about your faith. So many of us are always saying that we are ok and happy and are not struggling. You have truly touched me many times with your honesty. It makes me feel more normal. I am beginning to be more honest about things with people because of you. We are praying for you.

  8. Kacie November 29, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

    You should look into celiac disease or gluten intolerance. My sister had alot of the same things you are talking about and had undiagnosed pain. My parents even took her to Mayo because she had to quit her job and school. She has had every organ in her body checked! She started a gluten free diet and has been pain free! I don’t know all of your symptoms but it couldn’t hurt to check it out! I will be praying for wisdom for the doctors.

  9. Cheree Scefcyk November 29, 2012 at 5:42 pm #

    Hi Carmen, I am praying you are feeling better today and with each time this happens you lean on the Lord and he will guide you thru this just like you know he will. I myself went thru the same thing several years ago and found out it WAS my gallbladder and all CT Scans MRI and blood work showed things were all normal. However after pushing my doctor to preform surgery and he looked at the gall bladder it showed the bile duct was grey and had a stone blocking the duct. These were all things that were not seen by all the scans. I also was not a text book case for what the normal symptoms were but I kept pushing for someone to listen to me because I knew I was in pain and felt like I was going crazy at one point because they were telling me I was fine. I’m not a doctor or a nurse but I know your pain and have walked in the same shoes you are walking right now. Dont give up, All things are possible with God! I am praying something gets fixed soon. Keep us updated with whats going on. Keep the stress level to a minimum and take it one day at the time. God Bless, Cheree Scefcyk

  10. Constance Nonnenmacher November 29, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

    Carmen, my prayers are with you and your family. You inspire so many people and keep our faith in check. You are a very important tool from and for God. Your faith just needs a little whisper. Your presence at that hospital might be a necessity for someone there.
    For Christmas, my Aunt Carol gave me a flip inspirational calendar called “Rain on Me, Daily Moments of Hope and Encouragement” by Holley Gerth. The saying below is on January 10th.

    “Take a quick look out your window. Every flower or tree you see owes its life to rain. Every bird singing, every frog hopping, every living thing draws its strength from storms.”

    Me and my family went through a very big storm starting on January 12 this year. I had faith but now so much more faith. God asked me to trust Him and I am so thankful that I did. We had so many challenges and blessings and I know that it was for His plan.

  11. Robyn November 29, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

    Thank you so much for sharing! I have been dealing with a lesion on my back for 2 years now. The doctors diagnosed it as Morphea Scleroderma. It is still not healed completely. I know God has been, and will be, with me on this journey, but it gets difficult sometimes. You and the doctors will be in my prayers!

  12. Rachel November 29, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

    I will be praying for you!! I had a similar problem almost three years ago. I started having pains in my rib cage area. They came and went but I ended with with multiple gallstones and pancreatitus! I know your pain an will be praying for you!!
    Love you, Rachel

  13. Alma November 29, 2012 at 5:46 pm #

    I hope you feel better soon. I totally sympathize with you about having your faith challenged. We have spent the last several months with Hospice caring for my aunt as she fought her cancer, to finally say goodbye to her yesterday. Many times I have tuned in to you guys, and either heard a song or a story that made me feel better or reminded me that others had it worse than me. Ya’ll are a definite bright spot. I pray that God uses your trials to bring you closer to him. God bless!

  14. Christine November 29, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

    I know how you feel. I just went through the exact same thing over the weekend. Spent a day in the hospital for chest pains. I praise God it was not the heart but more than likely anxiety. Oh and I have fibro on top of that. I hope you are feeling better soon. Miss hearing you in the morning. Your transparency is a blessing.

  15. Heather November 29, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

    You have no idea how this touched me. I am struggling this week in a way I have never struggled before. My mom has been having “episodes” for 4 months now. They actually removed her gall bladder thinking that was the source of pain. After 3 more hospital visits she was told she is suffering from anxiety and phantom pain. She went to another hospital where further testing was done and we were told Tuesday morning she has a large mass squeezing her spine. She has Lymphoma. I am clinging to my faith and my prayers and that of all my friends/family/church etc. But I also hate that she is going through this. Your blog hit me right where it needed to. THANK YOU!!! I must live by faith that God has a plan and will heal my mom. I am clinging to the song “Strong Enough” by Matthew West during all this. Thank you again. You have no idea how much I needed this.

  16. Stacey November 29, 2012 at 5:56 pm #

    Oh Carmen, I hope they figure it out soon! Be sure to get a full cardiology work up,with stress tests, too.

  17. Pamela Morgan November 29, 2012 at 6:07 pm #

    Sorry Carmen the authors are Steve Leavett and Tommy Nelson. “Walking on Water When You feel like You’re Drowning.”
    Highly Recommend it!

  18. Rose Bain November 29, 2012 at 6:20 pm #

    I am glad you are feeling better. Stress can hurt everyone. I know because I live with stress everyday. I believe in God, but sometimes I feel as if he has forgotten me. My life is upside down and I am feeling the stress of everyday life. Carmen, all I can say is stay well because we need you on the air waves on Joy FM. You have a special place in my heart when I listen to the radio.

  19. Dave Heller November 29, 2012 at 6:36 pm #

    I certainly hope that you get to feeling better soon and find out what the root of the pain is and find healing.
    As far as your belief and faith go……you know you are a strong woman of God and are a blessing from Him. Our priest preaches to us a lot about belief and faith and how he has been through so much in his life as a our Pastor. He has prayed a very simple prayer for 20 years and has taught it to our whole congregation and reminds us frequently to pray it throughout the day. It is very simple. It is:
    Our Pastor warns us that if you pray it like you mean it Jesus WILL take control of your life. And as he says some times….”Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.” How awesome it would be if we truly allowed Jesus to POSSESS us.
    I challenge you to pray this simple prayer several times a day for the next 30 days and see how your belief and faith change.
    God Bless you Carmen and your family and the entire Joy FM family.

  20. Nancy Villegas November 29, 2012 at 7:10 pm #

    this has helped me in my journey with god as I have the same feelings I have faith for others but not for myself I just recently had total knee replacement Oct.8th this year I am still in recovery and it’s been very painful it’s also been a real test of my faith as I lean more and more on god thanks for sharing and encouragement

  21. Willemina Flowers November 29, 2012 at 7:18 pm #

    Carmen, so sorry to hear about your episodes. A few years ago I was having similar episodes and my results were twofold. First was the sudden development of a food allergy. Pain like someone stabbing me with a knife in the gut. Suddenly I found I was allergic to peanuts, something that had been a staple in my life! Detox from peanuts and pain gone. A year or so later, the symptoms you described, almost identical. Nuclear medicine showed problem with gall bladder, so out it came … all better now. Do consider a food allergy as well, though. Prayers for a good diagnosis and cure. It is all part of His plan and will provide you with some great material and empathy.

  22. Jeanine Deese November 29, 2012 at 10:33 pm #

    Carmen ~ I am praying for you! I am sorry you are experiencing this pain and not able to find out the culprit! As I was reading, I was feeling myself walk through this with you. I had gall bladder issues and had surgery to remove mine. I pray the doctors will find the problem soon! I miss you on the morning cruise, it is just not the same without you. The guys are doing a great job but you add some spice to the show!
    Get well soon~

  23. Diane November 29, 2012 at 11:48 pm #

    Sounds like possibly anxiety attacks

  24. Kimberly November 30, 2012 at 12:44 am #

    Thank you for sharing and being real with us. I know how frustrating it is when the doctors don’t know what’s wrong… Take care and get better soon!

  25. makayla December 1, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

    Carmen, I have been and will continue to pray for you! I know how difficult it can be to be in the hospital with no real diagnosis. I hope you feel better soon! I have missed hearing you on the Morning Cruise!

  26. TOMMY BOYLEN December 2, 2012 at 8:37 pm #


  27. Mandy December 6, 2012 at 1:17 am #

    God lead me to read your blog tonight. I listen to you every morning on my drive into work and I always say to myself I’m going to read your blog, but the craziness of the day gets me. My intrigue for the cross bracelet is why I logged on tonight , but I kept reading your favorite things and then I read your “this and that” post and when I got to the sentence where you Said ” help me with my unbelief” I felt the tug on my heart I’ve had a lot of major changes & struggles this year in my life one being struggling with infertility and trying so hard to get pregnant. I am a believer and I know my faith is being tested every time I see that negative test result. I see everyone’s happy ending and their families and it makes me so sad and I truly struggle. I do believe but I do often forget about the long road that I’m traveling on. “Help me with my unbelief” You are such a blessing and it gives me hope to keep praying and believing! <3

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