Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Everybody Must Get Stoned

Bob Dylan said it and I’m here to attest that his words are true. They are in my case anyway.

A couple weeks ago as I lay alone in my bed resting a pain developed in my side. I didn’t think much about, after all, I often have side pain with my Crohns Disease. The pain didn’t dissipate as I had planned. Instead it got worse.

It was a different kind of pain, like a contraction. Now I’ve given birth on three separate occasions—I know what contractions are like. The difference with this pain and a contraction is that with childbirth, you get a small break in between.

I’m a very patient woman. That’s the only reason I can determine why I lay in my bed writhing in pain for two hours. My husband at work, my two younger children at school, I decided to call my eldest son, home from college. He was down the hall asleep in his bedroom.

My son, rushed to my side. We came to the conclusion that I must be having an attack of appendicitis. I’d just gone through that only a couple months earlier with my husband.

The pain continued to worsen to the point that I began throwing up. The only good thing about this turn of events is that the pain seemed to abate for a few minutes after throwing up. I threw up four more times before I saw the emergency room doctor.

My husband met me and my son at the ER. I could tell he was frightened. He’d seen me give birth to our three children. He knew how I reacted to that pain. This was worse. He would later tease that he was sure an alien was going to explode out of my torso.

Thank God the emergency room was fairly empty and I was quickly taken back. After seeing the ER physician I was hooked up to an IV, given some fluids and a very strong pain killer before being rolled down for a CT scan.

The CT came back shortly with a diagnosis—kidney stones.

The following evening I survived the passing of my first stone. It wasn’t nearly as painful as the day before. I investigated kidney stones on the internet and was surprised (well sort of) to find that people with inflammatory bowel disease are prone to kidney stones. This disease just keeps getting better and better.

From my blog posts I must sound like I’m sick all the time…but I’m not. I’m living a happy, productive life despite my illness. In fact I praise God for the trials I’ve gone through. I even searched for a Bible verse to describe this current situation. Here’s what I came up with.

Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!"
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!"
"I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out." Luke 19:38-40

I’d like to think that when I was laying there unable to do anything but groan in pain that my “stones” cried out with praise to God!

But don’t get me wrong…I do not feel so all alone, because everybody must get stoned…

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Snow Time Like The Present

He says to the snow, 'Fall on the earth,' and to the rain shower, 'Be a mighty downpour.' Job 37:6

The Good Lord is certainly generous in Southeast Texas with rain showers, but snow…well not so much. On December 4, 2009, however, Houston, Texas delighted in a smattering of snowfall. Most school children were already deep into class or school would surely have been cancelled. Thankfully for my kids the snow lasted well into the evening so they had their chance to play in the soggy white drifts. Keep in mind the drifts are what accumulated on car hoods.

A Houston snow is about as common as a flock of Blue Footed Boobies migrating to Galveston Island. Speaking of Galveston, a blanket of snow covered Galveston Island on Christmas Eve 2004. The amazing pictures of the Galveston Seawall, coated in snow were all over the news and internet. There was even a coffee-table book released commemorating the “miraculous” event.

We’ve been blessed with a layer of the white stuff only four times in the past fifteen years including the December 4th snow. There doesn’t seem to be much accurate information on the history of Houston snowfall, but here is what I’ve learned from the internet and from having lived here over forty years myself. Apparently it has only snowed in Houston thirty-three times since 1895 when the heavens opened up and dropped twenty plus inches of snow on downtown Houston. Believe me when I say it has NEVER snowed that much in the one-hundred-and-fifteen years since. The December 4th snow marked two records; first it’s the only time it snowed two years in a row, 2008 and 2009 and it beat the previous record for earliest recorded snow of December 10th set in 1944 and 2008.

I’ll never forget my first snow memory. The year was 1973. I would have been nine or ten years old. Schools were closed at the first mention of snow. My brothers and I watched the news reports warning about icy roads and covering the tender vegetation as we snuck peeks out the window waiting patiently for that first bit of fluff to fall from the sky. When it finally came, we rushed outside wearing three pair of pants, four shirts, winter coats and rain boots. (My mom doesn’t like cold). I remember a snow man of about two foot tall and my face stinging from being pummeled by snowballs. I also remember my mom making snow ice cream and saving one final snowball in a plastic baggy in the freezer. Yes, these are memories that stick with you.

Another memorable snow happened in 1989. It was special to me because it was the first snow I could remember since my first snow in 1973. My husband and I played in the snow in the backyard of our first home. We made a six inch snowman complete with match stick arms and cat food eyes. Ahh memories.

It seems strange that my youngest child has seen snow three times already in his short life. And we’re looking at freezing temperatures at the end of this week. Do you think it might snow in Houston yet again? That’s global warming for you!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Is There A Doctor In The House?

When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. John 11:4

I’ve been sick since Pearl Harbor Day. I’m not the sort of person that complains much. Probably the reason why I waited twenty-two days before going BACK to the doctor for more medication. Unfortunately I feel as though I missed the entire month of December in my Codeine-induced stupor. I was diagnosed on my second trip to the doctor (on my birthday) with asthmatic bronchitis. I pray you never get this! Especially if you suffer from a compromised immune system like I do.

Somehow I managed to feel my way through the holiday season. Admittedly I stumbled through much of it. I narrated our church’s Christmas musical. I attended my son’s Christmas concert. I performed a reading from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. I also attended my daughter’s Christmas band concert, my son’s school party and an AWANA Christmas party. I welcomed my eldest home from college, sent three kids to dental and medical appointments and attended a professional basketball game. I shopped, decorated, shopped again. I’m not mentioning all the things I had to skip due to excessive weakness. December is a tough month to be ill!

An illness of this degree will make you closer to the Lord. I found myself asking if this was going to be a sickness unto death. I had to ask because at times, the coughing, wheezing, night sweats and hours of daytime sleeping made me wonder if I was going to make it. Thankfully it was not a sickness unto death and I’m here to write about it. Thank you Father for sparing me that through my sickness You might be glorified.