I do have an infection impacting lungs and sinuses (she didn't specify what kind) so I started antibiotics yesterday. Praising the Lord that it doesn't look like an antibiotic-resistant strain this time! Overall, I've been up and going (today was a busy doctor appointment day, with the Target trip between two appointments), though it took longer than usual to get going this morning. Kendra's therapist told her that even a slight cold can put a stroke patient back in recovery by 8(? - how many, Kendra) weeks.
My test study results were dismal this week. I have regressed significantly over the past week. This may be, in part, attributed to not feeling my best because of the infection, or it could be that I had taken the real drug for the first three weeks straight and (my speculation) started the placebo a week ago, or both of these issues combined.
I asked my doctor if my previous speculation (about possibly being the only brain stem stroke patient in the study) could hold any validity? She informed me that I am one of at least 4 brain stem participating that she is aware of, but that it could easily be that I have been on the real drug while the others may have started their first three weeks just on the placebo and they haven't gotten to the real drug yet. Since I am the first study participant at our location, I am a few weeks ahead of most other participants, so this is quite possible, mathematically. We shall see (though not until the study is finalized). She did agree that a brain stem stoke would likely be much different in reaction from other forms of stroke.
My mom is waiting to see a second (and possibly third, depending on what is decided at her next appointment) doctor, concerning her knee, this week. We may be looking at a knee replacement surgery in the near future (the other was replaced a few years back). Please be in prayer for wisdom for the doctors and peace for Betty (who has a huge, swollen knee that, at very least, will probably need fluid drained this week). Mom does almost all my laundry and driving still. And it is my Mommy we are talking about here! Thank you for the prayers!
Rick came home from work, sick tonight. He is hoping to sleep it off tonight and be better by morning. I'm not as optimistic, having watched each family member fall to this bug, one by one. Prayers for him too, would be greatly appreciated!
A friend sent me a card with the following poem:
Angel of God,
my guardian dear,
to whom his love
commits me here;
Ever this day
be at my side,
To light and guard,
to rule and guide.
I don't subscribe to today's popular "angel theology" that can run so rampant, but I did love this verse because it points out that God commits me here out of love. (If you don't know why this idea is so profound to me, read What The Camera Can't Capture.)
I still struggle with this thought often, and today it clicked a little more of why I struggle. Actually, it started to form as a gelatinous thought at church, a week ago. We were singing, "Cast me not away from your presence, Oh Lord, and take not your Holy Spirit from me..." and I started to cry. I am thankful that I have the New Testament assurance of salvation, that God promises to never leave me or forsake me, that I have no need to plead for God to not take His Holy Spirit from me! Tears of overwhelming thanksgiving on that count!
On the other hand, I have likened sunrises to a dim glimmer of Heaven. This morning, I watch a glorious sunrise. I watched just a sliver of it, mentioned it to Rick, and he opened the blinds all the way so I could see it more fully. With the pull of the cord, he quickly plunged the room back into darkness, to finish getting ready for the day.
That's when the thought solidified for me, that for the past 13 months I have been wrestling with the Lord about being "cast away" from His presence. Like the sudden shift from the beauty of sunrise to the depth of darkness in our bedroom, I have grieved the unheralded shift from Glory and grace to earth's dullness and pain. I think the jolted realities are best described as culture shock!
As I waited and my eyes adjusted, our room wasn't nearly as black as it had first seemed. In fact it was filled with early dawn light and I could watch my husband's preparations for the day pretty clearly. It had only seemed so black because of the sudden contrast from such brilliance to lower light.
Sticking with the sunrise theme, it occurred to me that the prettiest sunrises are the ones with clouds. A cloudless sky is often described as "best," but when there are no clouds, there is no brilliant shifting of color, nothing to reflect the sun's rays. When there are too many clouds, the light from the sun isn't evident for a while, but the sun is still just as much there, just veiled for a while, but still just as certain! I believe it is the same with the Son - that the absence of trials prevents His Light from being magnified, but He remains a constant even when troubles strive to overshadow His goodness.
I'm going to keep playing with these ideas. You will likely see further evolution of these thoughts in my stroke book. While only a poor reflection, I am making an intentional effort to find beauty now, for the same God who authored Grace, molded these mountain and painted these sunrises, for my enjoyment. Rather than focusing on lack, I want to transition into the "restore unto me the joy" phase now, thanking God for the gifts He has given.