A Night In The ER It’s 2:08am and we are in the ER. My big man was in tears from the excruciating pain radiating through his lower back and abdomen. He has been through two straight days of no sleep and unrelenting pain that was unaffected by Morphine or Norco separately or together. How can one man function with that kind of pain medicine? I find that when you give up and head to an ER, you can’t depend on quick action or concern. I thought I was going to have to yank a knot in the tail of the arrogant ER doctor who came to our room VERY briefly then returned to his computer monitor to get back to checking the weather channel. I walked out and after watching for a minute asked if anyone was concerned. No response. That doctor was chatting it up signing on to some search engine and buying something on Amazon. I said “Hey, doctor, can you get something for my husband, he’s dying in here!” in a nice tone, of course.😜 He asked if some nurse could help us. He is like 30….maybe…..I wanted to go all raging mama on him, but I just stared at him till he finally got some random nurse to come to our room. Then suddenly we had two nurses! Hallelujah! After blowing two i.v. lines out of his veins because he was so tense from the pain, they were finally able to get a one to stay. Two dosages of Dilaudid later, and my big guy is finally relaxed and now snoring off and on. Earlier, before the Dilaudid, he told me “ Dana, I’m so stoned but I’m about to die from the pain…..shoot me please!”. If I had had Norco at 2:00pm today, Morphine at 8:00pm, and now 2 shots of Dilauded, I’d be out till next week sometime, if not permanently. But whatever it takes. So they are sending us home now, with an extra shot of Dilaudid for the road, please God let me be able to get him in the house!!! He’s a little loopy, but he’s not crying from the pain anymore. It’s hard to understand why we have to go through suffering, why we have to deal with diseases like cancer, but we believe and trust in Almighty God, who no matter what difficult circumstances we are dealing with in this fallen world, He sustains us, He hears us, and He is with us. My big guy, even in the midst of his intense pain stopped moaning long enough to reel me in and remind me to be nice. I love him. 😍
“With my whole heart I cry; answer me O Lord! I will keep your statutes. I call to you; save me, that I may observe your testimonies. I rise before dawn and cry for help; I hope in your words. My eyes are awake before the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promise.”. Psalm 119:145-148
I want to live a life that honors God. I want to keep His statutes. I want to hope in His words. But I fail….often. And I hate it. I want to be someone who lives up to His expectations, not the expectations of man. But I am weak and find myself discouraged because I haven’t achieved or become that spiritual giant that makes a difference in this world for Christ. I am neither disciplined or wise enough to be that person. But the five words in this Psalm that are true for me are “I hope in your words”. I know His Word is filled with promises that are true. His Word has inspired me, comforted me, encouraged me, challenged me and moved me. I may not make much of a difference in this world, but I will always believe and cling to His Word.
Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord is with you wherever you go.”. Joshua 1:9
I have many moments these days where I am neither strong or courageous, but I am afraid and discouraged. This verse seems to be the one that is ringing loud in my ears this year! I had no idea when God gave it to me as the theme verse for our Women’s conference in March, that it would be the words I would be clinging to with all my strength.
Today I heard words like “aggressive” and “bone biopsy” and “treatment plan” and “B cell Lymphoma” as if they were to now be a normal part of our conversation. How can we be here. Just two weeks ago we watched my Daddy slowly slip away to heaven. Two months ago we welcomed our little grandson five weeks early and rejoiced that he had no major issues. In January I struggled through two rounds of the flu followed by pneumonia. Before and during that I wrestled with the decision of where to take care of my Dad, learning about dementia and what choices we had for his care. I walked through the betrayal of a sibling who manipulated my Dad to change everything he had put in place for decision making as he moved into his last years. But I had no clue we would be walking through this storm. I don’t want to be in this storm. I don’t want to understand words like aggressive and chemo and biopsies and pain management. I don’t want to constantly clear my mind of all the possible scenarios. I don’t want to grit my teeth and bite my cheek to fight back tears. I don’t want to pretend to be strong and positive and optimistic. I want to go back before the onslaught of life storms began its attack on our family. But then I step back and I look at the face of my big man, and the precious faces of my girls and I tell myself that while this might be the biggest storm yet, “He is with us wherever we go”. We are beginning to understand the storms we have watched others weather through. In the midst of this uncertainty we will continue to believe. We will remain hopeful. We will cling tightly to His hand.
So this is where we are. Me sitting in a hospital hallway, while my big man is on the other side of a massive door undergoing a needle biopsy. Two words swirl around in my head and I wonder which one will insert itself into our everyday language. Malignant. Benign. I knew these words but never considered them being a part of our lives. Not his anyway. Mine maybe. They were words other people talked about. They were words that had pulled people to their knees at the altar. But they were not words that were part of our lives. Until now. I never knew the frustration of the snails pace the doctors move. I never knew the uncertainty that surrounded you every hour. I never knew the strange words that become part of your vocabulary. This test this day determines our next days and months. I trust God to hold us and to lead us. I know He is right here with us. I want our lives to demonstrate that confidence. Lord, gives us strength and courage. Chase away the fears. Help me breathe in and breathe out normally. Wrap your arms around my man and let him sense your presence. Guide the radiologists’ hand carefully. Give us results quickly. You are our rock and our strong tower!