Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The change...Part 3

A few weeks ago I started sharing a portion of my story.  You can read part 1 here and part 2 here.

I first got sick the night of Friday, September 19th and went into the hospital on Wednesday, September 24th and went home on Saturday, September 27th.
Getting home from the hospital did not turn out to be the magic fix I was hoping it would be. I still had this raging headache. One long continuous headache.  It NEVER went away.

I needed sunglasses in my house because the light bothered me.

Every step I took made my head pound.

I could not turn my head without pain.

I could not read a book. I certainly could not look at a computer screen. 

I could watch television a little, but mostly I just slept.

John, rarely left my side at the hospital.  He was there everyday, but there were major transitions going on at work and I knew he needed to be at work on Monday morning.

Three friends volunteered to check on me throughout the day. One of them is a blogger and you can find her here.  They rotated in and out that first week I was home. Bringing dinner and doing whatever needed done around the house.

I was still taking some serious pain medication and my headaches were not getting better.

Meanwhile, my boss was being EXTREMELY understanding.  She told me to come and go as I needed and if I wasn't able to get to the office at all, then please let her know.  Otherwise, I was to do whatever necessary to take care of my health.  That was to be my first priority.

While in the hospital, my heart rate went very low and a cardiologist was called in to evaluate me. I had a follow-up appointment with him on October 10th and was still having daily headaches. Debilitating at times. He suggested I see a neurologist and to follow-up with the infectious disease doctor that saw me in the hospital. (My heart is fine, although I did have to wear a heart monitor for 24 hours and I DO have a follow-up with him in April!)

I made those phone calls as soon as I got home that day.  The infectious disease doctor told me that I should be 100% better and headache free by then.  She had never had a patient that still had headaches almost a month out.

When I called the neurologist I was told they could see me in March.  That was 5 LOOOONG months away!

If I did not already HAVE a headache that day, those two phone calls would have GIVEN me one!

If you are kind enough to be reading this series, 
thank you.  
And hang in there...the very best part is coming up!


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Excited for a change...part 2

This is part two of a portion of my story.  You can read part one here.

I was sure that at some point I would get assigned another program, but it wasn't happening any too quickly.

In mid-September we were going out of town for a wedding.  The wedding was on Friday night.  It was a few hours from home so we left Friday morning and attended the wedding and reception that evening. We were invited to a picnic with the family of the bride on Saturday. We had rented a condo in a resort not too far from the festivities and as we were driving home from the reception on Friday night, I felt a twinge in the back of my neck.  A mild pain.  The beginnings of a headache.  I did not drink too much at the reception and was careful to drink plenty of water, but it was late - almost midnight - and I don't stay up that late.  I wrote it off to being tired.

In the middle of the night I woke up with a fever and a horrible sore throat.  I could not get warm.

When morning came, I felt better, just a nagging headache.  I had no fever, so we went on to the picnic, stayed for the afternoon, but I was really tired.

We went to mass Saturday night at a church in town, stopped to get something to eat, but I really did not feel well. We went back to the condo for the night and would leave the next morning to drive home.

Sunday morning came and I was miserable.  John got the car packed and we headed home.

I slept the entire way.  And went straight to the couch when we got home. I slept until 3 p.m.

My headache was getting worse and I did not go to work on Monday.  In fact, I told John if I was light sensitive, then I would say I had meningitis. I'd had it many years ago and that is how my head and neck hurt.  But the lights were not bothering me. So, I assumed that was not the problem.

I went to the doctor Monday afternoon and he said it was a virus and could take 7-10 days to run its course.

I did not go to work on Tuesday or Wednesday.  When John came home from work early on Wednesday and found me still in my pajamas and in bed at 3 p.m., we went back to the doctor.

I was immediately sent to the Emergency Room and admitted to the hospital.  I did indeed have meningitis. 

This head and neck pain associated with meningitis cannot be described. I don't have words for the pain. I could not turn my head. I could not open my eyes. Every move I made hurt.  Unbelievable pain.

I had viral meningitis, so there was no antibiotic that would make me better.  I did receive narcotic pain medicine to help with the pain.

I remember very little of my 4 days in the hospital.  I should have stayed longer, but I insisted I wanted to come home.

I wanted to be home.

I wanted to resume my normal life.

I wanted...but I would not get what I wanted.

My fall semester wasn't going as planned.  My life wasn't going as planned.

My PLAN wasn't going as planned!

My trust muscles were getting a work out.

I'll be back with more of this story as time permits and my heart can write it out.

Have you ever had an illness that
changed the way you looked at life?


Thursday, January 29, 2015

When I was so excited about a new challenge...

As summer ended and mid-August arrived, I returned to my academic year job at a local college, I was excited. The new semester had the potential to be the best one yet. 

The least favorite part of my job was being given to someone another building. YES!
I would have new responsibilities. As the Administrative Assistant for two academic programs and another administrative office, my workload would change. I did not know what program I would be given and therefore, I did not know for whom I would work.

But something different would be a welcome change.

With a new program would come new challenges.

New responsibilities.

I would continue with some of the "old" but would add some "new" and I was excited about that.

The first few weeks of the semester I waited anxiously for the news of what that program would be. My boss would keep me informed and every week she would say, "I have no idea. It might be this or that, but I can't get anyone to tell me anything."

And I would wait. I don't wait well. 

But sometimes...most times...I have to wait anyway.

On August 22, 2014 I wrote in my journal "Sarah Young in Jesus Calling - Trust Me, and don't be afraid. I want you to view trials as exercises designed to develop your trust muscles.  You live in the midst of fierce spiritual battles, and fear is one of Satan's favorite weapons."

FEAR - Satan's favorite weapon

Submit yourselves, then, to God. 
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
James 4:7 

Fear was of Satan. What did I have to be afraid of?

I was not afraid. Or so I told myself.

But my trust muscles were about to get a work out.

One like I had not seen in many years.

I might be more afraid that I realized.

I would have to learn to submit to God and to let go.

Friends, this is part one of a series I am starting 
on some things that happened in my life recently.
Things that I wasn't expecting.
Things that changed the way I look at some aspects of life.
I don't know how long it will take me to write this out,
but I hope you find one nugget of wisdom or inspiration
as I share this part of my story. 

Are you a fearful person? Are you afraid of change?


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Is there peace in death? Comfort in dying?

He hung up the phone, walked into the kitchen where I was making a pot of chicken soup, looked me in the eye and said, "I have to go to Virginia this weekend."

He had just been talking with his dad and his mother isn't doing well. The fluid is building up around her heart. Her legs are swollen. She can no longer walk, even with her walker. She is sleeping a lot.

It is too soon. For me. Too close to the one year anniversary of my own dad's death.

Too many similarities. Too many reminders.

All of our days are numbered, but she probably has fewer than most of us.   

Since we moved out east 7 years ago, John has made an effort to get down to see his parents every 6 weeks or so. It is a short drive of 5 hours and much closer than he had been since he left home at 18 and traveled west 400+ miles to attend college. Back in the day where there were no cell phones. No e-mail. No instant communication. Maybe he called home on Sunday evenings, maybe he didn't. I don't know. 

After college he took a job even further west. 

When we got married, we tried to get back to his hometown a couple of times a year. We saw his family in July when we all met for a vacation. Moving east has allowed him more visit with his family.

I feel that the end of her days is nearing.  While those left behind may be sad, I know she will find peace.

And rest.

And comfort.

She will no longer be dependent on others.  She will walk without aid.

She will be at peace.

And those left behind will learn to live life without her.

The righteous perish,
    and no one takes it to heart;
the devout are taken away,
    and no one understands
that the righteous are taken away
    to be spared from evil.
Those who walk uprightly
    enter into peace;
    they find rest as they lie in death
Isaiah 57:1-2 
(emphasis mine)

My mother-in-law is a righteous women. She knows the Lord and is a prayer warrior. And one day, probably sooner than I would like, she will walk the streets of gold and say hello to my daughter and my dad.

Max Lucado writes in  
A Gentle Thunder Hearing God Through The Storm 
"Could death be God's grace? 
Could the funeral wreath be God's safety ring? 
As horrible as the grave may be, 
could it be God's protection from the future?" 

To those left behind the grave doesn't 
seem like a safety ring.
But I find comfort in that thought.  
Do you?

  A Gentle Thunder affiliate link included in today's post

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Obedience + Waiting = Peace...not a bad equation

I have been praying about my writing.  About what I should do with this space. I have been so empty for what seems like forever and even though I have wanted to quit and walk away, I could not get a clear sense that leaving...walking away was the right answer.

So, I sat and waited.

I did not close the blog.

I did not walk away.

I continued to pray and seek an answer. 

I have the in(Courage) perpetual calendar on the desk in my office.  This morning Holley Gerth's words spoke to me. 
"...part of faith is also about believing that our obedience 
makes a difference - when we can't see the results." 

Then I read Jesus Calling, January 14 - today - and Sarah Young writes "Let Me bless you with My grace and Peace. Open your heart and mind to receive all that I have for you. Do not be ashamed of your emptiness.  Instead, view it as the optimal condition for being filled with My Peace."

Maybe...just maybe my obedience is in accepting my emptiness today...right now.  Maybe the obedience of not quitting is the only answer I get right now.
For some reason, I find peace in that thought.

So, quietly, in my little corner of the internet I share with whomever is reading this that I am waiting.  I am empty of words, but I am at peace.

And that, my friend, is a gift.

Are you waiting on something?
Are you hoping and looking for results that just do not
seem to be there?
Can I pray for you today? If so, please share in the comments.