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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Yesterday was history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift

Birthdays are great! For most people it is just a time for celebration. Celebrating and hoping for another great year. But sometimes a birthday means something completely different. I have been sick for 3 years. Seriously ill for over a year. The past couple birthdays have been different than the years before. It marks how long I have been sick.
Last year was my sweet 16. It was on a Thursday. Three weeks before then, I had returned home from 2 weeks of treatments in Nevada. I had spent 3 weeks in Nevada in December so I had been there for a total of 5 weeks. When I came home from Nevada, I thought I was doing great!! The pain was better and I thought I could handle the fatigue and all the other symptoms. I thought I was in remission. But over the next 2 weeks I went downhill so fast. The Sunday before my birthday was the first time I was in the hospital. I went to church that day but I wasn't doing well at all. I was in so much pain and was so weak. I couldn't handle it anymore. Going to the hospital when you have Lyme Disease is very risky. There is no telling what could happen to you. But I had no other choice. That was the first time I had been in the hospital. Ever. (ok, I was born there but that doesn't count) My mom went shopping with my aunt after church so she didn't even know I was going to the hospital. For the time being it was just me and my dad.
First we went through the admitting process. We weren't sure what we should tell them or how much to tell them. I know that sounds bad, like why would we not just tell them everything? It's such a political disease and we had no idea how bad it could get if we told them everything. I went through triage and was put in my room. We got nervous as we waited for the doctor to come. Everytime I go to any doctor, I am the most popular and changeling person there. You think doctors would know this but just because the door to my room is closed, that doesn't mean I can't hear them. I have actually gotten very good at easdropping and understanding the technical terms doctor use when they talk about me. I'm not kidding, I am always the talk of the hospital. "did you hear about the girl that has Lyme disease? She's in room 3"
That is how it goes at every appointment.
So the doctor came in and we explained what was going on. Then the best thing happened. He admitted that he doesn't know much about Lyme and he asked us what I needed. He was the best doctor because he didn't try to act like he knew everything. He became our favorite ER doctor. In the months after that when I needed to go to the hospital we would call and asked if he was there.
So we said I probably needed IV fluids and pain medicine. Up to this point, I hadn't ever had strong pain medicine. So he said he would get some nausea medicine put in right before the morphine. By that time, my mom had gotten home and called us to see where we were. She freaked out and was like she's in the hospital?! Maybe we should have called her...So she and my aunt got to the hospital just as they were starting my IV. I had the nicest nurses that night. My main nurse was so good about getting everything I needed and she became our friend. Over the months following, she some how was always working when I was in the hospital. She would come and hang out in my room and just talk. She saw the fear we had and 100% supported us. I still love seeing her when I'm at the hospital!
Last year when I was really sick and was in the hospital every week, I would see her more than I saw my friends.
They finally got my IV started and got the medicines in me. They had to give me at least another dose of pain medicine because the pain was so bad. When I could finally go home, they told me to wait for them to bring the wheelchair. I remember thinking that I could just walk out. I tried to stand up and then fell. So I decided the wheel chair would probably be a good choice.
Later that week on my actual birthday, I got my licence! It was so exciting!! We went out to dinner for my birthday that night.
Two days later, on Saturday, I ended up back in the hospital because of extreme pain. Bummer. That started my weekly hospital trips. From then on, they knew me by name at the hospital. Everytime I walk drag myself in they would greet me by name! Actually they knew me as the Lyme Disease girl. That is the hospital I had surgery at too and it's where I'll have surgery when we take my port out. I had my PICC line put in there too! Oh and I was born there! It's pretty much my third home. My second home is at church. Do you know how much time my family and I spend there? It's a lot!
This is the first time I was in the hospital
So now, remembering the past 2 birthdays is weird. I was sick for my 15th birthday too. Not extremely sick, but still sick.
Last year I remember thinking that I can't wait for my 17th birthday because I would be better! But here I am. I'm not in school, I do IVs at home, I have 10 doctors, and I'm not better. Instead of thinking about how excited that I am that I'm 17, I am reminded about how long I have been fighting this disease.
That doesn't mean I'm not excited about my birthday! I am so excited!! So instead of dwelling on what has been taken away, I'll celebrate today. Today I am alive and I am SO blessed!!!!
Thank you so much for all the encouragment.

"If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes."
Matthew 6:30-34
I'm Still Yours by Kutless
"If You washed away my vanity
If You took away my words
If all my world was swept away
Would You be enough for me?
Would my beating heart still sing?

If I lost it all
Would my hands stay lifted
To the God who gives and takes away

If You take it all
This life You've given
Still my heart will sing to You

When my life is not what I expected
The plans I made have failed
When there's nothing left to steal me away
Will You be enough for me?
Will my broken heart still sing?

If I lost it all
Would my hands stay lifted
To the God who gives
And takes away

If You take it all
This life You've given
Still my heart
Will sing to You

Even if You take it all away
You’ll never let me go
Take it all away
But I still know

That I'm Yours
I'm still Yours

Oh, I'm Yours
I'm still Yours
I'm still Yours"

Tomorrow (the day before my birthday) my grandma is taking me out to lunch! She asked what I wanted for my birthday and I said a nice new Bible, so we're going to pick out a new Bible for me!! I'm excited!

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