Yesterday I read someone's blog who had the courage to discuss his medical issues, and though I mention briefly in my profile what I have, I realize that most people probably don't read that.
So, what's wrong with me?
It's called gastroparesis syndrome and is caused by damage to the vagus nerve, which affects stomach emptying. When my stomach doesn't empty, it swells to enormous proportions and many times I am asked by strangers when my baby is due. Since my case is severe, I have been lucky enough to have a tube placed that rests inside my stomach and sticks out about six inches on the outside. It has a cap that I can remove and everything inside can come out, releasing the pressure. It has kept me out of the hospital quite a bit, because before they implanted the tube I had to go to the hospital and have one inserted into my nose, down the throat, and into the stomach. Either tube can then be attached to suction and I am not allowed to eat or drink until the episode has passed. Usually once the stomach has adequate time to rest, it will start working again, though mine is always slow.
Now, with my own tube, I rarely go in. I can relieve the pressure myself, but I have to wait until my stomach is functioning better to eat or drink. During these times I try to sip an electrolyte drink so that I don't dehydrate. It's a very fine line that I walk.
But the worst part of this illness is that at times, my stomach will reject anything in it, including the secretions it normally makes. For the first five or six years of this, these episodes went on for days to weeks and required IV fluids. Over the last five years, these episodes have decreased but still occur with no warning. The morning going into Easter I had the worst episode of this that I can remember in a long time. It luckily stopped by morning but it weakened me to where I was barely able to walk.
At present, I have been swollen to the max since my return and have been on a very restricted liquid diet waiting for it to pass. So, I've been so very tired.
So. It begs the question: Why me? I want to spread the message of my Savior and God's love.
A better question is: Why not me? What can I learn from my situation that applies to the above?
I've always been compassionate, but I've learned it now at a deeper level.
I know what pain is, and I have strengthened my bond with my Lord through this. Sometimes,
in the dark of the night when I'm in pain, He is all there is. And He is sufficient for all my needs.
I've learned patience. Well, okay, to a degree. I'm a person who wants to jump in and get it done, but when my body will not cooperate, I must wait. I still have a ways to go with patience. But what better way for my Lord to teach it to me?
If I were still working 12 hour shifts as nurse I wouldn't have the time I do now to develop my relationship with my Lord and become involved in ministries. Sure, I miss my old life....I still work in my sleep, all these years later...but God stopped me in my tracks because now I'm meant to do something else.
The trials of this world mold and shape our character either for the better or for the worse. As long as I keep my relationship with my Father strong, He will use this to mold and shape me into the woman He wants me to be.
Life is not about reaching MY goals. It is about reaching HIS. He has a plan and a purpose that He created me for, and He will surely bring it about as long as I stay in His will.
All I can do is follow and trust, and let Him do the molding; and I am certain that He is.