Saturday, December 09, 2006

A Target on My Head

The last few weeks have been crazy-weird. I say that because, if I were to inventory some of the freaky facts, I would think I have a target on my head or something. Instead, I'm more worried about the target on my heart. Do my reactions and responses glorify my Creator and Savior, my Heavenly Father and Friend? Do I give in to parties of pity or do I celebrate small blessings? All of these answers determine my outlook and my UPlook.

Here's a look back, recorded here for a laugh later on:

• I've been having lots of sinus and lung problems, and I was back for my third visit to the doctor. Only one problem. The wrong doctor walked in to take care of me. She didn't know my case and she missed the mark with her assistance. I asked the office what the policy was on swapping doctors like that-because I saw my own doctor in the hall. I felt like I was in a Twilight Zone episode! The office manager called me and apologized-asked me to come back in to see the right doctor. It was office error.

• Dr. "Right" ordered a high resolution CT scan of my lungs. Of course, the technician had trouble getting the dye into my veins, but eventually I guess something more than my glowing personality lit up the screen!

• Dr. Right's nurse called to say my test results were in, and to confirm I would be at such-and-such phone number so the doctor could call. I'm sure I'm not dying. I never get the "dying" kind of illnesses because that would be too quick. I get the long drawn-out-over-a-lifetime kind of diseases. But you know what? I've quit praying for God to heal me. I've seen Him use my health problems to minister to others and to point others to Him. God showed me the scripture that talks of Paul praying 3 times for his thorn to be removed, and God told him to quit praying for healing, and instead accept the sufficient grace He offers. This taught me that I might not be "all better" until Heaven, but I can have something even better than health right now-God's grace! And I really HAVE found it to be sufficient for my needs.

• Of course-since nothing is simple this month-the doctor didn't call. Instead, her scheduler called to schedule more tests. She didn't know the results of my CT scan. So, I had to wait until a week after my test to get the results. The doctor's assistant called last night. She said the doctor told her to tell me my scan was normal. I asked her if it still showed the autoimmune lung disease that the last one showed-and said that those sorts of things don't normally go away. Then she admitted the report showed some things, but she didn't know how to read the report and was told to say it was normal and that I was to wait and go to the pulmonary function tests. I told her these weren't until the end of the year. So now I'm wondering what the CT report actually said. I've had doctors say a test is normal because they don't know what to look for with my rare things-so if it isn't something that they were looking for, or if it doesn't just glare at them on the page, they say "normal." Then I take the same scan or report elsewhere, and they think something big/bad is brewing in there.

So, I guess I should be glad it is "normal" but there is a part of me scratching my head thinking-how did that happen? I also know that some calcified granulomas (little rocks of old infection or inflammation which aren't harmful, but are usually noted as a finding) should have shown up-those don't disappear either.

I'm beginning to think the comedienne was right when she said that NORMAL is just a setting on the washing machine. No one is normal. I'm used to MY normal. It works for me, but I'm sure it would be quite ABnormal to someone else!

I know not to borrow trouble from tomorrow. That is why I stay in the Word and also stay busy. Keeps my mind occupied with the good stuff. So I don't mean to sound like a faithless woman when I say I wonder what the report REALLY said. It's just that with my history, it seems like normal is a foreign word. I've learned not to trust it. I've learned to trust my gut instead. Especially since this assistant has twice acted like there is something on the report, but she isn't authorized to tell me anything other than what the doctor tells her to say. (I realize that is policy-but she did indicate the report had "something.")

•And of course, not to be outdone, other parts of my body have been getting jealous of all the attention. Part of my nerve-damage work-up this year has been regarding my bladder issues. Of course, the doctor couldn't find just one thing wrong. He found three things wrong-all different. So, I'm looking at more surgery (suburethral sling). It might as well happen this year while the deductibles are met-if they can clear me for surgery. I might as well get all the yucky stuff over in 2006, so that 2007 can be over-the-top amazing without these little inconveniences to weigh me down. After surgery they can address the other two bladder issues.

• My sugar levels decided to go high last weekend, thanks to the tapered prednisone steroid dose. 274 high! Numbers that high do not do a body good (to borrow the milk slogan). This is the second time this has happened with prednisone-so now we know this form of steroid does not work well with my system. Prednisone out-and numbers went down. But I had another "episode" making me think my sugar was high and I checked it. It was at 202 with no steroids, and my fasting blood glucose today was 186. Not good! Especially considering I was careful with my diet this week.

Stress can affect it, as can obesity. I am the poster child for both! And from what I understand, even when you attempt to manage the stress well (venting, meditation, Bible reading, praying, bubble baths, journaling, etc) that the things that are stress inducers can still cause the levels to be high. So, unless I can heal myself and create a hassle-free ministry for Russ and have only perfect relationships and...and...and...I will have stress for a while! I still need to deal well with the stress (helps my blood pressure) but it doesn't always help sugar levels (because they are affected more from the adrenaline response that is triggered by the stressor itself).

I hate this! I told my doctor last week that I was sick of doctors and I just don't want to go anymore. But I know it would not be smart to ignore this. God expects me to be a good steward of my health-it is part of what He entrusted to me. But if it weren't for that, I'd love to go on a doctor strike. Maybe by the time Lent rolls around I can claim "no doctors" for what I'm giving up for Lent (that's funny since most Baptists don't participate in Lent). haha!

• There are non-health related "freaky findings" too. Jazzy's losing her hair. Russ is pulling his hair out with ministry stress. Our car developed a HOLE in the battery, and wouldn't start when Russ needed to be to church early last Sunday morning. I was hurt by a friend who disrespected and rejected me rather than communicate. Christmas cantata is coming and I'm married to the "music man."

But I learned a long time ago that it isn't the trials in my life that define me or defy me. Only my reactions to the trials can do that. I haven't arrived, but I'm working on it!

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