I am laying on the couch waiting for a pain med to kick in. My joints are burning something fierce, all over my body. On my left side, nagging at me, my spleen is so enlarged it is poking me in the tummy, lungs, diaphragm. Meanwhile, I think it's my liver that is bothering me on my right side; I felt twinges of pain in my back and shoulder this week, perhaps confirming the bad lab numbers we got this week. Steady on, Em.
Today I was blessed to receive three units of blood, to raise my hematocrit up from the stinky 22 it sank to over the past two weeks of decreasing platelets and increasing UC bleeding. The blood bank couldn't provide a perfect match for me due to my complicated antigen list beyond a simple "O positive" label.
But all went well!
First IV had no blood return - deep breaths, steady on. Had to take premeds as a precaution (Tylenol and Benadryl) and had a fever and felt very flushed for the first unit. Steady on. Eventually I had a nice nap while Hubs read through the first five chapters of "Huckleberry Finn."
A friend has been encouraging me with that short sentence in past days and weeks. I face a challenge, get my brave on, overcome the hurdle, celebrate... then pow, another setback. "Steady on," she reminds me. Okay. I can do that. There are so many reasons to celebrate in the midst of a season of challenges seemingly unending.
Respond to every instance of negativity with that truth set in your mind. And steady on. Pick up your courage, put on your peace, look to the heavens- He is surely watching, never letting you out of His sight. No need for hysterics. No need to dump your confidence - remember His promise: He will richly reward it! Steady on.
When I got the call late Wednesday evening, from the on call doctor passing on the concern the lab had called her about minutes before, I'm happy to say I remembered "STEADY on." Listen to the words - "your hematocrit and platelets are critical," write it down. Ask questions, hear the answers - "a transfusion is highly recommended. Much lower and your heart will be working too hard." Hang up, and talk to God. "Lord, I wish this wasn't happening again. but You are on it. I'm confident You'll see me through. Thank You for that."
And He did. He does. He WILL.
Last weekend we got to go on our trip. Thank You, God, for answered prayers! It rained much, and I was sick too much to be fair, being our first vacation in years. I was tempted to cry all day, commiserate with myself at having to cancel all plans and miss the special time with friends that we planned.
But God has given us the most gracious friendship. They came to our hotel, and we had a great time together despite my limits. I even took a nap when needed, and no one minded a bit.
How that simple gesture, soothed the disgust I feel being the "sick girl" who cancels plans, who comes off as flaky and noncommittal, when that is the farthest from who I desire to be.
And that evening, I felt better, and the next day, more so! And the sun came out. And it was a special time for my little family, making memories, celebrating life.
When something goes awry, a spill and a mess occur, plans are shoved off course, hopes are dashed- but that's just it! Hopes are NEVER dashed. Stay confident. There can always be a course adjustment. Plans may change, but purpose sticks around. Purpose remains, if you let it.
Tonight is uncomfortable. Well less so now... that pain med is kicking in. Thank You for that too, Lord : relief.
"But!" But I was able to receive blood! A little pain for (hopefully) weeks and months of strength and energy. A trip that didn't go as planned. But! the memories I recall now are so rich!
A daily life of late that looks nothing like I thought it would. But! Wealth of love, joy, and meaning like I could never plan for myself.
Choose to be flexible in life. Always let the hurts go, and never miss a chance to celebrate the gifts. Next time you face a tough situation, remain confident. Remember those two words. Steady on.
Hebrews 10:35-36. "So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God you will receive what He has promised."