But Praise the Lord, we survived it.
So! Last night I went to bed at 10. I put on all my various implements of sleep, (See my post “How Are You Really?”) and settled in for what I hoped would be a pretty quiet night. But instead, I immediately began experiencing stomach problems. This is one of the new symptoms that happens from time to time, for which so far I have no explanation. I get a burning in my stomach, and the heat rises up along my esophagus, and then my nose and face and eyes burn like I’m having a serious histamine reaction and I do have some difficulty breathing as well. I feel like I’m dry-heaving both ways and an extreme weakness hits. (Whether this weakness is my cataplexy or a feature of this GI reaction, I know not, but if it’s the cataplexy, I sure have a lot of triggers). Well if all of that doesn’t sound fun enough, try doing it with the medication in your system.. The one designed to force you into the deep stages of sleep that your body is unable to reach on its own. I spent a good portion of that time on the bathroom floor, sometimes coherent, sometimes not. After about 2 hours of this, my husband attending to me the whole time, I finally stumble back into bed about 12:15, put all my gear back on, and promptly throw up. (Blessed relief!)
When I don’t get to sleep early, the medicine does a strange thing. Whatever time is shaved off the front end of the night, it tends to shave a proportional amount off the morning and I am awake before dawn. Needless to say I am feeling a little rough around the edges this morning. But onward we go. Between nausea, aching joints, weakness and reduced stamina, I am beginning to question whether I need to be more aggressive with the doctors, maybe even check my house for environmental toxins, but with what energy am I to do that? I am still not over the years-long fight it took just to get the narcolepsy diagnosed.
Healthcare today is so specialized, the “body of knowledge” so vast, that any doctor who is the top in his field, has only room in his brain for that specialty, and more and more we are being examined and evaluated in pieces and slices. It is a lot of work to get any doctor to see me as a whole. And when they do, they see a trail of multiple diagnoses, none of which were desired or selected by me by the way, and they either seem to conclude I am not entitled to one more, or that I go around collecting them for sport. Either way I can’t help feeling my concerns are being taken a little too lightly. Here is the pattern: See a doctor, he runs a battery of tests. They all come back “essentially normal”, so we know a bunch of things that are not wrong, but still not what is. But to them, their work is done, so ”run along, now, off you go!” (Though if he can’t help me, I guess it’s just as well I do move on). I suppose if a doctor sees 12 patients a day in the shape I’m in, he or she may pretty much have to dial back or turn off their ”carer” entirely, in order to keep doing what they do. (Back when I left nursing the sheer magnitude of people’s suffering was already tearing me up but I refused to stop caring). I don’t hold it against them, really, but from my side of the bedrails there is no question it doesn’t make for an easy road getting help and answers when something is clearly wrong.
I am very grateful to be able to say that the Lord sent me a couple of medical office workers who have taken the time to encourage me. Right out of the blue, too. Like they knew my case and were totally aware of my struggle, and maybe they are in a general sense. Here is a disturbing thought: Maybe it’s such a common scenario, patients with mysterious symptoms and unexplained illnesses, that they have felt the need to become cheerleaders. They know the docs and that they actually do care and are doing the best they can. And they know the patient is sick and fighting for their quality of life, or possibly even for life itself. ( Not sure which one it is for me just yet but certainly time will tell).
Ultimately I know that my quality of life, and my life itself, are not in the hands of those doctors, but in the hands of a wise God. And so I go to Him. With my frustrations and my perplexity. I go to Him to keep my attitude adjusted because I don’t do so well with that on my own, and certainly going to the doctors with a chip on my shoulder would be counterproductive. Not to mention the effect on those who have to live with me. I go to the Word and I do a lot of praying. That’s what keeps me going.
I am grateful to the Lord for the solace I have found in the blogging community. Hat-tip to fellow narcolepsy sufferers (like Queen of Sleep, Strides Against Narcolepsy, Julie’s Narcolepsy World), and Fellow Chronic-Fatiguers, (CFS-Life in a Small Space and Wife of a CFS sufferer) as well as fellow believers who post solid teaching from the Word like Rus Howard over at “Daily Bread Crumbs”and Clint Lewey over at “Counsel of a Friend” and “Chief of the Least”, ”DefendingContending”, “Laconic Commentator”, or the many who just use their wonderful gifts to reflect Jesus or spread joy to a needy world: ”Caddo Veil” and ”All that Makes You” and others (all in my blogroll).
If we go to Him for it, the Lord will always send what we need to get by. Always! And for that, I am truly grateful.
To God be the glory!
Compelling. Disturbing. Orwellian. In an era when government is becoming more and more intrusive and dictatorial, where radical agendas prevail and common sense seems to have become extinct, (and one could say “the inmates seem to be running the asylum”) a story like this is not quite as easy to stomach as it once would have been. Maybe because it’s becoming a little too real and familiar-feeling. Every great nation seems to follow the same trajectory from prosperity and peace, to apathy and compromise, to loss of moral compass, chaos and rebellion and subsequent loss of freedom, loss of affluence, and finally, loss of sovereignty.
At one time here in America and most of the West, there was a continuum between the elite, and upper class, middle and lower class, and there was pretty decent mobility upward to some degree, for anyone willing to work hard enough at it. But the divide is becoming much more distinctly drawn now, with a handful of elites on one side, and “everyone else” becoming more and more equalized downward toward the “poverty” end of the spectrum. Such are the conditions already in most non-western nations.
The Bible tells us that there will one day be a single world economy, that it will be “cashless” and no one will be able to buy or sell without a certain mark, number or name. (Sweden is leading the cashless trend even now). For this to be enforced there must be surveillance. Cameras and drones are everywhere now, and every photo you put on Facebook has already been digitally mapped for recognition, even those sweet little baby pictures. (How did you think photo-tagging worked?)
Hmm! That’s a little like in The Hunger Games. The way everyone was tracked and all.
The Bible also tells us that there will be such consolidation of power that the entire world will briefly be divided into 10 “kingdoms” or power regions (Book of Daniel). The European Union’s “European Commission” already has the world divided up into those 10 regions. (http://ec.europa.eu/world/where/index_en.htm ).
Interesting, that’s a little like Hunger Games there too, come to think of it, only the fictional Panem (as a nation that has replaced the defunct America) has 12 districts.
The “Hunger Games” depicted in the book and movie are reminiscent of the “games” which took place in the Roman Coliseum. Brutal and bloodthirsty. How close would you say we are to that in our society right now, in light of recent news?
Yep, all rather disconcerting and yet people can’t get enough of this story. Why is that? Are we so desensitized that this now passes for entertainment? Then again, “reality shows” are all the rage. One is left to wonder if this fascination with all things dark and disturbing is not a by-product of a culture having pushed the ”pleasure button” so much that we have ceased to feel. Sort of like the barbaric act of “self-cutting” for the purposes of proving to oneself that anything can still be felt at all.
Very few were watching for Jesus the first time He came:
The Wise Men from the East (Matthew 2:1-2), and Simeon and Anna( Luke 2:25-38) “And, Behold there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, then he took him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: for mine eyes have seen thy salvation which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of thy people Israel, and Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him. And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, behold, this child is set for a fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. And there was one Anna a prophetess, the daughter of Phanu’el of the tribe of Aser; she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; and she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And she coming in that instant gave thanks like wise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.” Judging by Mary’s reaction when the angel appeared to tell her she would carry the Savior, she was watching for the Christ, as was Joseph, and Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist. Just a handful that we know of.
What about today?
2 Peter 3:3-9 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. (Isaiah 55:6-7)
10 out of every 10 people will die some day. Then what?
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life. Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingom of God: Be not deceived, neither fornicators, nor idolators, nor adulterers, nor the effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revillers, nor extortioners shall inherit the kingdom of God. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death BUT: Jesus was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes (wounds) we are healed. But God commendeth His love toward us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth, the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation. Much more than being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath to come For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. For what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul. Jesus said I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no man cometh unto the Father but by me. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
You don’t have to know how it works, any more than you need to know all the inner workings of an airplane when you fly on it. You just have to trust it will get you there, and get on board. Your conscience (con means with, science means knowledge) tells you that there is a God and you will answer to Him. He doesn’t want to give you what you’ve got coming. He so badly doesn’t want to, that He (who never sinned) took your punishment for your sins when He died on the cross, but you have to believe what He has said, reject (renounce) your own sinful nature and ask Him that the price He paid be applied to your “account”, or else His sacrifice for your sins will go “unclaimed” just like an unclaimed ticket left at the will-call box, and you will spend an eternity in hell needlessly. You have the option to exchange your guilt (and all the labels-liar, theif, adulterer, etc that go with it) for His righteousness. Remaining under condemnation is a choice. He did everything He could to prevent your going to Hell. If you feel a prompting in your heart upon reading this, that is the Holy Ghost convicting you of the truth of it. Please do not take it lightly. There is grave consequence in blaspheming the Holy Ghost. (Matthew 12:31-32). Behold today is the day of salvation!
1 Corinthians 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed
This video is dated and a little cheesy at times, but it's a powerful re-telling of a great story about a group of people who heard the gospel and said, "It is truth!"
It's well worth your 24 minute investment.
He loves me when I am unlovely. He insists on making my coffee every morning. He always remembers our anniversary, even of our first date. He goes to work every day to a job that is hard, and comes home and serves us, does for us, helps us, then he helps others too. He loves to see me smile, and he has always been a great dad to his kids. He is patient and kind and sweet, slow to anger, slow to speak, and puts his own wants and needs last, always. He worries that he has not done enough, or given enough, but he has given all that he has and held nothing back. We laugh together a lot, and cry together sometimes, pray together very very often. He is my knight in shining armor, my hero and my best friend. That’s my husband and I am so blessed.
God gave us two amazing sons. They are respectful and delightful and precious, smart, funny, helpful and kind, they do as we ask, obey our rules, and love us while doing it. We laugh together, cry together, play and sing, pray and worship together. They are strong and wise for their age, and love the Lord Jesus. Those are our sons, and they are teens, and we are so blessed.
I go to a church where the pastors are humble with servant-hearts, and love the Lord, and know the Word, and the people care and call to check on us when we are sick, and help each other when someone is in need, and still have prayer meeting on Wednesday nights. That is our church, and we are so blessed.
I have cousins and friends (old and new), parents and brothers, a lifetime worth of relationships and memories. Whenever I have needed a friend, I have always had one. Through hard times, through good times, through tragedy and loss, triumph and celebration. I have been so blessed.
I love my husband and my boys more than life itself, but there is One I love more, because He loved me first. More than life itself. His name is Jesus. He is my Savior. He has walked with me through it all. He has picked me up when I fell, He has humbled me when I was proud, He has answered my questions and answered my prayers, and paid for my sins, and given me His Book and a River of Life to drink from that can never run dry. Every one of those many blessings have come only from His hand. And today I just want to thank Him. Because I am so blessed.