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When the flesh is weak

Over the past few months, I have thought a lot about Paul’s words that the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Of course, Paul was talking about temptation in the context. But those words have taken on a greater meaning in my life now that I am wrestling with serious medical problems. It is so often the case that I desire to do what I physically cannot handle at the moment.

Last week, I spent another 30 hours in emergency with more tests and consults. This time scared me though – the left side of my body experienced numbness, muscle twitches and tingling along with chest pain. I doubted that there was cardiac reasons for this though they checked me out just in case. My greater concern was that I know the brain often works bilaterally and mot of my head pain has been concentrated on the right sight. Also, I thought it was just plain weird that my left side was impacted but not my right. Add to that vomiting and dizziness that caused me to lose my balance and I decided to get it checked out. Those who know me will know how much I hate going to see doctors and understand that it takes a lot for me to present myself.

I was hooked up to IV fluids, anti-nausea medication and morphine. I went for another CT scan which I am thankful to say did not show any changes from September. Still, given my symptoms and their inconsistencies, they think that I have a partial blockage. Since I have a neurosurgeon appointment in a couple of weeks, the stability in imaging and a few things need to be done that can be done outpatient, they discharged me. But this visit was scary as they were talking about hospitalizing me and imminent surgery for awhile. Also, everyone comments on how large my ventricles (the spaces in the brain that hold the cerebral spinal fluid) and this visit I learned what some of the reasons for this could be.

This trip to ER has made me realize a few things:

  • my life is not my own. As much as I want to believe I am in control of my own life, I’m not. I cannot will, desire, or pray these symptoms away.
  • Focus on today. I’ve been living day by day because of the inconsistent symptoms. Some days I am totally fine and can accomplish a great deal including papers that I’m proud of. Other days I am so sick that getting through the day is an accomplishment that I need to be proud of.
  • I need to listen to my body. In the past, I could ignore my symptoms. As I deal with pain and fatigue and other strange  symptoms, I need to be ok with resting.
  • Health comes first. Most of my life I have shortchanged my health in order to do what I want to do. I’ll work long hours and sleep very little, push through, and worry whenever I can’t. But right now, I’ve had to prioritize health. Interestingly, all those things that really mattered to push me to do what I could not do, really aren’t a big deal. Getting an A on a paper is something I really enjoy, but the cost of health is too much.
  • I have a wonderful community of friends. I accidentally posted that I was in the ER to all my Facebook friends instead of changing the privacy setting to my prayer support network. Before I realized this, I had numerous messages of people saying that they were thinking of me and praying for me. People who I have met, and people I only know on Facebook. People in Toronto, and people all over North America. I am really touched by this.
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