i woke up desperate for relief today. ever need that? crave that? and the worst part about our flesh is that we can “FEEL” like we need something, go to the ends of the earth for it, and not even know what we’re searching for….we just KNOW “it” will make us “FEEL” better.
i know what i need. i need Jesus. at all moments and at all costs. so this morning my desperation for a relief was not only a cry for mercy and grace but a plea for something different. so much had piled up over the last two years that i admitted today i wanted, needed, craved a “break” and i have no idea what that looks like, but here is my reflection.
on december 23, 2013 i decided (after 4 days) it was time to call the doctor. i had attended a family christmas out of town, cared for my boys, gone out to eat, and done various other things with most of my left eye out of commission. the best way to describe it was that everything was shiny, fuzzy like watching the tv with no cable, and just blotchy. i wouldn’t drive because the peripheral vision was nonexistent. so i decide, it’s the day before Christmas Eve at 4 pm. if i’m going to look into this, no is the time. i start realizing it’s no aura with migraine because i’ve had that a few times and went it away in at least 30 minutes and sometimes with a headache. neither had happened here. my husband had been on vacation and he was using this time to take care of our boys while i lay in bed. not an ideal vacation in that his whole family wasn’t present.
when i talk to the doctor he says that is not normal and he’s calling an ophthalmologist. the one he contacted was so gracious to meet me at his office after hours. he does a complete eye exam and several tests (that i’ve never had because i’ve always had perfect vision) and said my optic nerve was swollen. he says i need steroid infusions to get the swelling down and that’s a pretty normal outpatient situation. however, all of the infusion therapy clinics are closed and will be until thursday. oh man. the dreaded words. you need to be admitted for iv steroids.
my husband had been driving around with the boys after he dropped me off. through dilated eyes i tried to text and then just called. we have to implore grandparents. my grandmother’s funeral was the next day (Christmas Eve) but my mom was so gracious to help and picked up the boys. one of my best friends spend the night at our house with our boys and then my in-laws stayed at our house the whole time with our boys with a few breaks from my husband and my parents. and my father-in-law was ill most of the time and i’m pretty sure my mother-in-law was too but all of our parents are so kind to us. we are loved well.
so disappointed. Christmas in the hospital. without my children. my sweet husband who suffers from chronic pain slept on those uncomfortable chair/recline/pull out beds they have in the rooms. we were visited, showered with flowers, gifts, sweet words, facebook messages, texts, etc. the redemption? my husband (who is the most gifted and sensitive to what redeeming means) brought Christmas decorations to the room and my gifts. i opened up a necklace that i have wanted since Drake was born. it had a pearl and a hand stamped initial for each of our boys and the sweet first child we lost through miscarriage. perfect and perspective and healing.
i missed my grandmother’s funeral. my eye waited until the 11th hour to start getting vision back. right before the last dose of steroid in the iv i started to see better. i went straight to the ophthalmologist after being released. my eye was doing better. i had to go to my regular doctor to get a blood sugar test kit (steroids can mess with blood sugar. a new low—-pricking my finger for blood. thankfully brady did that. and i never had to give myself a shot).
i was told to take oral steroids for several days. i was so messed up. brady and i will probably remember for the rest of our lives how i acted those days. i tore our house apart to clean and reorganize. i only slept from 330-6:30 am most days.
we will also never forget what happened when i quit them. cold turkey. i had flu like symptoms. i was “depressed”. i started crying so hard at one point i was weeping and convulsing. i looked at him to try to explain and probably laughed the hardest and loudest i ever have because i had no words. no idea why i was crying.
this condition i have now been diagnosed with is a precursor 40% of the time in women age 32 for Multiple Sclerosis. so, in the hospital the neurologist said when the steroids had cleared my system i had to have a lumbar puncture. i’m pretty laid back, but those words sent me into a frenzy of anxiety and fear. my husband has had two and assured me if i had endured labor i could handle this. we’ll see.
two weeks ago i had the lumbar puncture. it was terrible. i was dehydrated. it took way too long. and the next day i got a spinal headache that lasted five days. i text everyone i knew who had one and asked what “normal” was for these headaches because i didn’t want a blood patch.
last night we received word that my grandfather passed away. my dad’s father. my last living, blood related grandparent. i had not received closure from losing my grandmother, is my assumption, because i cried longer and harder than normal for myself when finding these things out. no matter who it is, how close you are, what your life is like, death of someone or something is sanctifying.
loss brings perspective if you’ll let it have it’s toll and work on your heart. i fessed up to myself that i had feared so many unknowns and so many possibilities that just aren’t reality right now. what if i experience this with my eye again? what if i lose my vision? what if i have MS? and i won’t list out allll of the history we have with my husband’s medical history recently…you can read that here.
there is so much grace for the loss, for the sin, for the hope, for the disappointment.
Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured,
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilled.
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.
Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold,
Threaten the soul with infinite loss;
Grace that is greater, yes, grace untold,
Points to the refuge, the mighty cross.
Dark is the stain that we cannot hide.
What can avail to wash it away?
Look! There is flowing a crimson tide,
Brighter than snow you may be today.
Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
Freely bestowed on all who believe!
You that are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?