Wednesday, February 9, 2011

'God Blesser' Trouble

Are you ready for an organ recital?  The squeamish are welcome to look away - I completely understand! This is what's going on at our house these days ...

The back story:
When our Storyteller was 14 months old I had a gallbladder attack - just one, but it lasted 6 tortuous weeks.  At that point my dear gentle Mum drove 3 hours to our home and marched me into the surgeons office and demanded strongly suggested that my gall bladder should be removed - as soon as possible! We were living in Canada at the time and the waiting list for gall bladder surgery was 4-5 months, but I was in agony, and trying to take care of a busy 4 year old and an active 14 month old while on pain meds was not working out so well.

Thankfully, though I felt badly about it, Mum's squeaky wheel policy gentle insistence got me in for surgery the next day.  I felt terrible because I knew that the opening was available because another waiting patient had passed away, but I was so grateful to be in the office just at the right time to take that appointment and get rid of my terribly diseased gall bladder. The extent of the damage was not apparent on ultrasound and it really was quite a blessing that I did not have to wait any longer.  It took months to heal and 5 antibiotics to clear the infection from my body.  The liver disease issues I have today are most likely the result of my gallbladder issues 9 years ago.

Here's the cute part of the story - our sweet Dreamer was quite worried about her Mama.  At just a little more then 4 years old she was a carefree, joyful little girl.  She fully trusted God to heal her Mama - but she couldn't quite get the words out right!  Her plea each day was that God would make Mama's 'God Blesser' well!  When I came home from the hospital the first thing she wanted to know was if they really took out my yucky God Blesser - I showed her a tiny little bandaid on my tummy (not the real scar of course), and she was so happy!  'Goodbye bad God Blesser! Mama's going to be all better now!' She sang as she danced around my room! We couldn't help but dance the happy dance with her!

Gall Bladders have been 
God Blessers ever since!

 This past weekend ...

The Historian had a bit of trouble with his God Blesser just before Christmas and went to the doctor to look into it.  The verdict: a healthy God Blesser, but a few small stones - as always surgery was recommended.  It was hard for him to understand why a healthy organ would need to be removed and why simply removing the stones wasn't an option.  He's still struggling with that question and would really like to hang on to his healthy body parts as long as possible - which I understand. The Historian decided to reduce his fat intake even more, start juicing again, avoid all refined  sugars and white flour and pray for God's wisdom. He had a few uncomfortable nights,  2-4 hours of pain but usually by morning he was fine and headed off to work, watching his fat intake even more carefully.

Friday night we did our usual winter routine, Pizza and Video night.  Homemade Pizza and lots of raw fruits and veggies. I've been using an all whole wheat crust recipe that I love, and using about 1/3 of the low fat cheese I used to use and he hasn't had any problem with it at all - but I guess it wasn't low fat enough.  He woke up in agony and could not get relief.  By 5 am he was asking me to take him to the hospital, which is where he spent most of the day.  Poor man.  He was in so much pain his blood pressure was super high, he was out in a sweat and totally pale.  I felt so badly for him.  I could feel his pain.

As soon as they sedated him and he was asleep I rushed back home to two sleeping children ( we had awakened and informed the Dreamer so she wouldn't worry) We had three important things on our Saturday agenda and a hospital visit for the Historian wasn't one of them.  The roads were a mess and I was sending up SOS prayers almost continuously - both for my sweet hubby and to keep us on the road.  Thankfully we made it through the day, got everything done except the grocery shopping (so very thankful for a nicely stocked pantry and freezers).  I picked up the Historian when he was released and we got the meds he is now on.  He has been home all week because of the pain level and the fact that he is  so unaccustomed to medication that he is quite sleepy and a wee bit more loopy than usual.  Not a good combination!  He sees the surgeon tomorrow, and I have a feeling he'll be parting company with his God Blesser sometime in the near future, but we're still hoping there is another option.

This whole experience has been stressful and hard, but I see the Lord's timing and His provision, as well and a few unexpected blessings! The Historian has been trying to loose some weight and this God Blesser issue has really helped.  He was so totally disciplined in cutting out pop, sweet tea, and fatty foods even around Christmas, so he was slowing loosing a few pounds each week, and his blood pressure is back in the normal range! Obviously the diet restriction he is now under has him loosing even more weight and that's a good feeling.

He's also developing a greater empathy for me and the daily struggles I face. He just wants to feel well - to feel normal, and to be able to eat something without worrying that it will cause him another severe attack.  He's always been very compassionate and loving - supporting  me in a very godly and patient way, but empathy is something different, isn't it?  If you've been down the road it's easier to see the curves ahead.  He's going down my road right now.

This makes me think of Jen at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam and a recent post she did about her battle  with a nasty flu bug - you can read it HERE if you like.  She mentioned that she felt that 'Mommas aren’t allowed to get sick', so I was trying to encourage her to see the blessing in illness too.

I'll include a part of my comment:
First of all, you are not indispensable – your family will survive while you are laid aside. In fact, it is an opportunity for them to turn the tables and be a blessing to you. All of the those nurturing muscles we strive to instill in our children need occasional exercise to grow strong! We have seen so many wonderful character traits grow in our children during our journey with chronic illness. Our children have learned that we make plans, but God orders our days. We have seen compassion, selflessness and contentment flourish as a result of this season of my ongoing health struggle.Secondly, illness is a gift of compulsory stillness and quiet – and there is no better time to hear the still small voice of God than when you have nothing else to distract or busy you. If you choose to use this time of illness to understand your frailty and deepen your walk with the Lord, than every pain and misery will be worth it. Instead of choosing to seek mindless entertainment to pass the hours while laid aside, choosing to pray, meditate on the Word and worship leads to sweet blessing.
Lastly, illness is the very best reason to find thanksgiving in wellness! There have been times (in the last 5 years) when just for a few minutes I have been without pain and without fatigue – they are precious – breathtakingly beautiful moments. I often forget how good it feels to be well, to have full health and strength. It is a gift we take for granted, far too often!
When you are well again, please do a little happy dance and rejoice.
I am hoping and praying our Historian is soon well again - I know he'll be doing a 'happy dance' in the kitchen with me when he is - just to embarrass the kids, you know! He is the strength and dependability of our home, a spiritual leader and the one to bring reason and a gentle sense of humor into our daily family life! It's hard to see him down, but knowing this season will pass is such a comfort! All suffering is very temporary in the eternal scheme of things, and we are choosing joy, laughter and faith during this God Blesser trouble!

Are you learning faith and character building lessons in a season of illness for your family? 
I would love for you to share them with me!

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1 comment:

  1. I had my God Blesser removed after an "out of the blue" attack when I was only 29. I had no symptoms before then but when I did, ouch! I remember the surgeon looking at me and saying I was suppose to be "fat and forty" but it is one of those genetic things. Most of my family on my mother's side had to have surgery.

    A specialist at one time told me he thought my developing Juvenile Diabetes was a result of a terrible infection I had in the late 90's. He said a severe health situation when combined with something like stress can bring on chronic illness (we were going through lots of stress then with my husband's illness!).

    Isn't it good to know regardless of what causes our trials, God is still in control? Praying your hubby gets all better soon!


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