Bear with me as I'm having a hard time pulling my thoughts together lately. I began January excited about getting in shape with the Jillian Michaels' DVD, as I posted before. Looking back on those days, one thought comes to mind:
In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. Prov. 16:9
Steve and I had been counting down the days to our vacation to Astoria. On Sunday night of the week we were planning to leave, Steve came down with the "flu". He ran a fever, threw up, and was just miserable for about a day and a half. We left for our trip on Thursday.
Thursday afternoon we checked into our hotel, and that evening I became really nauseated and felt like throwing up. I had a panic attack that night, which only made things worse. There's just something completely miserable about being sick away from home. I felt pretty crumby the whole time we were in Astoria, but I was determined to enjoy what I could while we were there. Afterall, Steve's flu bug only lasted at most two days. We checked out Saturday morning and started to head home. I was actually feeling pretty good. I even drove in Portland traffic! Then I made a bad decision and got a hamburger and fries with a frosty at Wendy's. I felt awful Saturday night and didn't make it to morning or evening church on Sunday. I think I spoke to about ten nurses throughout the week.
I finally got an appointment to see a doctor on Friday afternoon. Around 2am on Friday morning, I woke up shaking like crazy. It felt sort of like a panic attack, but I couldn't stop it and I was having a really hard time even speaking to Steve because I couldn't connect words to make any sense. My mom has been a guardian angel to me this whole time, talking to me at all hours of the night. Steve has definitely been my hero. Friday morning was quite miserable. I pretty much gave up praying with words and just sobbed. I thought Steve was going to cry with me, but I can't say I'd blame him. That was one of the darkest days of sickness I've ever faced. I could feel a strong level of spiritual warfare taking place in my heart and mind that I've never felt before. I was pretty scared. I'm so thankful for all of the people who have been praying for me.
We spent Friday morning on the phone with a doctor and since my symptoms were worsening and I was going on day nine of all the nasty stuff that comes with a virus, she was worried I was dehydrated so she referred me to the Emergency Room. That scared Steve a little, but he's really amazing! As for me, the words "flu" and "ER" or "Urgent Care" are somewhat synonymous so I was honestly excited to go to the ER and have them shine a light at the end of the tunnel.
At the ER, they put me on an IV drip of fluids, gave me some anti-nausea meds through the IV, ran some blood tests, and a urine test. My electrolytes were fine, but I was dehydrated despite the gallons of Gatorade I had been drinking over the past nine days. They diagnosed me with gastroenteritis, and my chief complaint was cold symptoms. I contest that my chief complaint was that I felt like a hamster with food poisoning stuck in an exercise wheel with that one stupid hamster that never knows when enough is enough. Round and round I go. When I'll get better, nobody knows!
My father-in-law, Robert, stopped by to talk and pray with us, and then my mother-in-law, Cathy, dropped in for the rest of my stay and kicked Steve out of the room. He really needed it. He hadn't been eating or sleeping since I wasn't cooking meals and he was so concerned about me. >Thanks for keeping him alive, Jon!< I love my parents-in-law soo much! They're so incredible, and I'm learning that I'm not alone out here just because I can't have my own family nearby.
Today is day 13 of this illness, but I feel like I'm coming out of the woods, finally! I still feel really weak, shaky, somewhat nauseated, and I don't have much of an appetite, but we're getting there! I've been really exhausted mentally and physically to the point where I stay awake for about eight hours a day now (up from six). I sleep the rest, waking for a few minutes at a time to drink some liquids, check the time, and talk to someone on the phone or read Facebook. Emotionally? Let's not even go there. The stupidest thing can make me cry right now. I think the most difficult part of this illness was being alone for so much of the time. It's like a wrecking ball to my hope. However, if God brings me to it, He can bring me through it!
Things I have learned through this experience:
God is always with me, and he is always in control - no matter how I feel.
Scripture and prayer are the best medicines. "strong & courageous!" Joshua 1:9
God has placed people in my life, and he wants me to open my heart to them, be vulnerable.
Christ enables me to do all things, even when I feel as though it's a losing battle.
The devil is real and he will use any means to break my faith, especially illnesses.
God loves to show off his skills when I entrust him with my broken heart.
God deserves my praise and worship, and he blesses me when I surrender to him.
These are a few thoughts that have gotten me through day-by-day:
Increase your strength by thinking of God's tremendous blessings in your life.
"O LORD my God, I called to you for help and you healed me." Psalm 30:2
Take courage in that God leads the way wherever you go. So exchange your fears for confidence in Him.
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9
Thanks to everyone who has been praying for us, and offering their help! We love you, and thank God for you! May He give you a special blessing for your love and concern for us.