Thursday, July 23, 2015

Wandering

Today as I sat in the car waiting for my friend my heart turned toward Heaven and I felt the sorrow of God as I realized how long it's been since I've had a really good time of communing with my Maker.  I started out some months ago, trying to read the Bible in 90 days.  This is no lightweight undertaking.  It's a commitment to read between 16-20 chapters a day.  Which is doable...However, miss a day and you are in deep hot water.  So I've scratched the "90 Day" portion of the deal and am working about a month behind --still reading 20 chapters....but not going nuts if I miss a day  I will get it done....maybe in 120 days.

What does that have to do with my prayer life?  I'm really not sure.   Is there a vagrant sense of failure keeping me from the  throne?  My Bible memory efforts are slowing as well. I'm  not altogether happy with the Pro version of Scripture Typer ...it seems to have lots of bugs and may be actually obstructing me in my efforts.  maybe I should just make my own flashcards and keep my
"fearing God" verses together.  Am I too much into "doing" and not enough into "being"?

I know God misses communing with me....as I miss it with him.  And there is no real reason --no need for it to be a lack in my life.  I have time. I have every conceivable piece of literature and study material.    I have been wasting a lot of time online....surfing, chatting....maybe I need to restructure my time.  I need to give God back his priority rating and stop allowing others to eat into the time that belongs to him. 

I have some goals for the pending days: goals designed to bring the Disciplines back into my life. Goals that will help with Bible Memory, transcription, reading the Word, and prayer.  Tonight I feel the need to pray.  Time to get silent before God and to hear from him....I hear him in the Garden calling my name.  Will I tell him "I heard you call me and I was afraid because I was naked---so I hid"  There is a time to get naked before God.  Nothing hidden. and no shame.  That time is now.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Giving Bith to the Promise



Has God ever promised  you something? And you greet that promise with joy and prayers to "birth" it.....but then a year goes by.  And another. And twenty more.
The sparkling vision you had of the anticipation that this thing would come to pass has tarnished over the years.  And your certainty has waned.  Not vanished...just...pushed into the background.  Rather than increasing your prayers over the years you let them pale.  Are  you questioning God?  Or do you not even think about it that much anymore....And honestly the likelihood is so tiny....your doubts grow.

See it for what it is: UNBELIEF.
If God keeps the promise at  this point you can take no credit for it whatsoever. In fact  you may have been a barrier --an obstacle keeping God from bringing you his very best.

Oh God give me the faith of Mary...accepting your Word and your Promise without question.  This Lord, is the "pregnant pause?"  The time when you are working in the darkened heart of another?  Most of all---are my attitudes and words such that they are in line with what God expects of me? Am I a co-laborer with Christ in this?  Or am I a stumbling stone? Lord work in my heart.  Take over my tongue.  Grant me 1 Cor. 13 love...May my heart be a fertile field in which  you till your will.   May the seed of  your promise burrow deep into this soil in my heart.  AND IN YOUR TIME: bring it to pass.  Forgive me for my unbelief.  Use me I pray to work your will....and my joy  will be higher than the sky  when this promise comes to pass.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Journey

Today makes 23 out of 30 days as an inpatient in  our local medical center.  I've missed the whole month of July thus far and a good chunk of time in June.  Asthma was very bad this time....The doctor has me on every conceivable med. In addition to that I have steroid induced diabetes and have been taking insulin.  I had hoped to come home today however I need to get set up with insulin and blood sugar testing equipment.  And tomorrow they will teach me to do that. And I also have to take a test to see if I require O2 on a continual basis.  So maybe on Wednesday I will be able to go home....but that depends on the O2  situation.  If I have to get a concentrator (a portable one) then it may take even longer.  I am COVERED in dark blackish red bruises.  It will take many months  before those begin to heal.

With every attack that I have, I get sicker and sicker....and my dreams of  having a healthy body get farther and farther away.

I finally did order the Instant Pot (a 7 in one featured pressure cooker/slow cooker) and it will be delivered tomorrow.  I am hoping that this piece of equipment will help me with meal prep and will allow me to cook some vegan one-pot meals....I also ordered "Yonana"--a device which makes fruit ice cream (sorbet), and this will arrive tomorrow also.

I need to get my weight under control. And then maybe I will be able to take short walks.  Maybe that dream needs some amending also.  Courting Trouble.  Keeping my Eyes Fixed.  Right now Court is beyond reach.  But does it have to mean that it will stay chaotic?  It is also helping me to have my friend Stephanie "over"---by means of my computer....we talk and laugh and dream.  She is rooting for me in a big way and that helps me. 

 it is not good for me to be alone.  It is not good for anyone to be alone.  But sometimes aloneness happens and we sit in it and live through it...we try not to become alone in our identity.  It is, rather than a destination, a journey.  And it changes us.  But may we keep the eyes of our heart open to the lessons to be learned there.  And may we pay attention to whom it is that walks with us...because they are also gifts from Him to us.


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

All that Concerns Me

I'm still in the hospital at the end of my second stay, third week.  I was told today that I have COPD as well as asthma....which explains the Chronic difficulty I have breathing, even when not in the midst of an acute attack.  It also means most likely that I will need to be hefting around an O2 Condenser and to be on 02 for my days.  However, since the PR person was here the other day and told me I would need that, no one else has mentioned it.  I have decided however to purchase my own condenser to save many hundreds of dollars in copays from the insurance company.  Of course then the burden of repair/replacement becomes mine as well when things go wrong.

I will not be going to inpatient rehab this time around.  The doctor decided I'm too independant physically to qualify.   
And then my pulmonologist today, while listening to my crappy lungs told me he thinks I have a lung infection.  I do not need pneumonia now.  He wants a sputum sample which he may not get.  I am terrible at coughing junk up and spitting it out.
Then to top it all off I had a visit from an endo doctor who is investigating sky rocketing liver functions tests.  Could be cirrhosis, a fatty liver, or liver cancer..  I feel it is likely the fatty liver option which I could be treating by eating right, were I at home.  But now he wants all kinds of bloodwork and a liver ultrasound.  I'm praying not to need a liver biopsy...I've heard they are painful.

There was a commercial about a COPD medication that showed an elephant laying on a woman's chest and I'm here to tell you that was an accurate portrayal of how it feels.  My poor dad. Surrounded by respiratory disasters.  He is such a blessing to me and to my mom though...upbeat and helpful.  Always giving...never complaining.  He is my Superman.


So just an update.  I'm still here. Still taking one breath at a time.  Still praying  that God would somehow use all this for his glory and would use it to grow my trust and my faith ....and would grant me that all sustaining peace that is beyond what anyone could describe.  HIS peace....with which he graces me.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Hospital Tid-Bits

It was pointed out to me that it has been quite a while since my last post.  I'm all confused about dates...but i know that about three weeks ago I was in the hospital for 8 days with a bad case of asthma.  Then I was home for around a week, doing the steroid taper...but when I got almost to the end of the taper, my asthma came back full force and I was admitted back into the hospital.  So I have been here, struggling with lung crackles, rhonchi, wheezes and whistles.  My pulmonologist  is back on duty after being away and he has told me to hang out until next week , which I would have anyway because I'll be danged if I'm going to come back a third time.  I kind of knew last time that I wasn't fully recovered but the doctors all said my  lungs were clear.  I knew they were not. I never got rid of that crappy cough in between these two visits.

I do not have any deep thought to share with you and not even any funny hospital happenings.  I'm just sitting here waiting from one meal to another....steroids this time are making me hungry....During my last stay I lost 5 lb and then another 3.  But this time I don't think I will be so fortunate.  I had already started to regain two pounds before even coming back.

I have a great App on my kindle (also available ios ) called "Spiritual Typer" and it is a Bible memory method to help a person to retain Bible passages.  For a while I kept the free version --not really knowing much about what the pro-version offers.   So the other day I invested   $10 into the "Pro"version,  I had some trouble loading it and had to delete my whole program, get refunded by Amazon and then reload the whole thing.  It took me working on it all last night to get both accounts merged so that I did not lose any of my data. It is also supposed to have an audio player and recorder so that you might make audio files of your verses and that function was working yesterday....however sometime, it stopped working and  now I only get an error message which is disappointing.  It has a gadget that lets you draw pictures to illustrate your verses as well.  pretty cool.  And best of all it lets you have limitless verses on it to memorize ...the freebie only allowed storage of 50 verses so I was already over my limit.  OK that is my TV commercial for the day.

Thanks to the friends who have entertained me ("spammed me") and kept me in touch with their lives, across the country and across the world.  Thanks to those who offer sympathy and prayers and to those who make me guffaw into my pillow.  Yes, it "sucks to be me" but there are those who help to make that whole prescription more fun.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

All of it



I just this week finished my antibiotic and got down to the lowest level in my steroid taper.....only to wake up one night (Monday night) unable to breathe.  My lungs are full of congestion and my airways are inflamed and closing due to my severe asthma.  I went  to the doctor yesterday and he confirmed that my lungs sound like crap.  He decided : no more antibiotics, and to take me once more to the highest dose of steroids and to do another slow taper.  I know...and I think he knows, that this is unlikely to help me.  My question is: how many rounds of 60 mg of Solule Medrol QID will it take to get me back to breathing and functioning again....and really--most importantly--how many doses like that can a body tolerate before breaking down completely?

So I'm home.  Each breath a struggle.  And to top it all off, I have hurt my back--probably from coughing.  Now  I cannot stand without  crying in pain.  I feel completely helpless.  I don't know what God is doing here.  I wish I had some help.  I wish I had some frozen dinners so that I need only to microwave them.  I wish I could breathe without coughing....I wish my back didn't have a red-hot dagger in it.  Wishes.

I do have some praise/thanks to report.  A week or two ago I received several bills totaling several thousand dollars.  I decided --when I saw them--that I would NOT panic. I would NOT worry. I would NOT do anything but to  pray about them.  So I prayed for a week....finally, when I felt ready, I called both offices involved in these bills....and do  you know what I ended up owing?  $25!!  God is so good---and when we make a deliberate decision to trust him, he comes through and we feel chagrined.  "What was I even worried about?"

So I will do the same thing now.  I will take it one breath at a time and I will ask God to work his will.  When I was in the hospital...the first night there...I went through at least 3 IV sites that continually were failing.  I have horrible veins...destroyed by years of IV antibiotics and steroids.  They brought an ICU nurse in....who tried 4 times and finally got a line....which collapsed shortly thereafter.  Through a series of events, a nurse named "Betsy" came to my room and she got a line.  A good line.  So I put out a call to the prayer chain in my church and I asked them to pray  that this IV would last for the remaining week.  Yes.  HIGHLY unlikely....Even on healthy veins, a week is a long time for an IV to last.  But you know what?  Yes,  you know.  That IV stayed in for the remainder of the week...it didn't bother me, it wasn't in an annoying spot...It just worked for the whole time that I needed it to work.  Coincidence?

No.  GOD...
....a God who loves me and cares for all that concerns me.  A God who is slowly and surely chiseling me and my faith to create something beautiful.  He has shown me so much this year that I do NOT need to worry...but in everything , by prayer and thanksgiving to present my requests to God...And my God is faithful, who will supply all my needs in Glory by Christ Jesus. 

“But as for you, O My servant, do not fear, Nor be dismayed...! For, see, I am going to save you from afar,  Jeremiah 46:27

A God, close at hand, who is able to save from afar.  Now what does he require of us?  That we trust him implicitly.  He will take care of all that concerns me. (Yes, I meant to repeat that).  Whether it be a bill, poor health, putting food on the table, difficult relationships...your child's future.  All of it.  Fear not nor be dismayed.