(Sometimes my writer's brain really annoys me.)
This past summer I got sick and had to go up on my daily steroids. Having an adrenal disease means any sickness can become dangerous and since my body does not produce the extra cortisol to fight sickness, I have to provide it myself through pills. Extra pills that come with their own side effects. And the longer I am up on my dosage, the longer and harder it is to go back down to a regular dose.
The past round took 6 weeks of not-fun drug withdrawals to get back down. I was finally feeling stable, had 3 good days...
And I caught a cold. Just a nasty little head cold. My kids caught it too and we all coughed and blew our noses, and I hoped I could just go up on my meds for a few days and knock it out and get back to stable again.
Tried that, but as I was coming back down on my dose, I started noticing a trail of unusual symptoms, seemingly unrelated, but that came with a distinctly unpleasant familiar feeling.
I kept trying to place it, and late Saturday night I remembered what all these connected to before. Pneumonia. Then pleurisy, bacterema, empyema, major surgery because the infection could not even be forcibly drained from my lungs. They had to go in and scrape it out to save my life.
Liked I said, bummer.
So this morning I went to urgent care and about broke into a cold sweat trying to figure out how to explain all of this to a doctor who likely has already seen 20 people with the flu and assumed I'm just another one. Indeed, many of my symptoms might be the same, but the ramifications of them for me are a whole lot different.
He listened to my lungs and said he didn't hear anything that indicated pneumonia. That felt good, until my husband reminded me that the other doctor didn't hear a thing either, and was shocked when he looked at the x-ray.
Today's doctor didn't bother with an x-ray. Either way, he said, the treatment was antibiotics, so I should take them and if I got worse rather than better after a couple of days, then I should come in again and do an x-ray. Okay. And of course, as long as I'm on antibiotics, my body is in a state of stress, and I will need to be on extra meds for my adrenal problem.
Which means another few weeks down the road, after the extra hunger, gaining weight and retaining water, among other side effects from the higher doses, I get to go through the weeks of tapering down yet again.
It feels like such a huge failure. I know it isn't my fault that this happened, but it's hard not being angry at how vulnerable this body of mine is. Then I think of a friend who is right now fighting cancer with chemo--of how she will face misery as the chemo attacks her body, and she has to wait to see if it works at all or not. I even think of my mom, and how she is very sick right now, and doesn't have the advantage of steroids to help her heal more quickly.
I really don't have it so bad. I know that. But it just feels lousy being so unable to control my own body, unable to stop the bad things from coming and taking over my life sometimes, of being unhealthy and helpless and all that that means for me and my family and the future years when this will likely happen again and again.
So tonight I have a prime opportunity to test what I learned last night from the Bible. The temptations have come along with my infirmities, as usual, and this time around, so close on the heels of the last round, they are very strong. I want to be angry. I want to feel sorry for myself. I want to be afraid. I want to ask why and say it isn't fair.
Instead, I am going to choose to focus my thoughts on how my Savior and Friend knows how I feel. He knows the helplessness of having God's will be something He doesn't want to endure. He knows the strength of these feeling temptations, and He resisted them with Scripture and prayer.
So, wanting to be like Him, I too shall pray and ask for help--not just to fix my body, but possibly the more important request, to strengthen my mind and heart.
And I will cling to those same verse I have clung to before, that are still true regardless how I want to feel:
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble.
When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.
What time I am afraid, I will trust in you.
God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
I can't from memory list most of the references for the above verses, but the words are printed on my heart, hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against God. Like in Job, I want it to be said of me that in all this, I did not sin with my lips, or charge God foolishly.
Maybe you're feeling overwhelmed or discouraged today, too. Will you add to my list? What are the verses you've hidden in your heart to pull out and cling to when your heart and your flesh fail? I think the internet is such a wonderful invention; through it we can encourage one another without the exhaustion of an actual visit. So please "visit" below and share from the Word something that helps you, so it might also help someone else. And thanks.
Related Posts: Bound by Fear? Worry? Envy? The Feelings of Our Infirmities
When It's Just Too Much
My Name is Kimberly and I have Addison's Disease