But in the last two weeks, our family has suffered much sadness and I have been afflicted with what was a "fluke" (named by my doctor) series of medical incidents. And I've been forced to spend a lot of time back on the bed and couch out of necessity to heal up properly before I can get back on with a more active lifestyle that I had started to really become accustomed to again.
Back in September, we were blessed with the news that I was pregnant. Our whole family was so excited and we all couldn't help but wonder what this surprise of a blessing would bring next year. I was struck immediately with quite intense morning sickness...or really "all day" sickness which is quite typical for me when pregnant. But despite all of the throwing up and generally ickiness of feeling that way constantly, this time was so much different than my other ones because I actually maintained so much energy. We have been so pleased with how it appears I am really recovering fully from Lyme disease and I don't take a day for granted.
Even that numb area on my ankle and foot cleared up finally, just as my Lyme doctor has predicted. It was great to finally be rid of that neuropathy! We enjoyed a family road trip and camping that was so very refreshing, especially with all of the Fall weather! I also got to take a short little trip with my husband which was so fun since it was just him and me.
And then - I went in, yet again, for another routine OB checkup, and nearing the 2nd trimester, baby had no heartbeat. I've got a handful of babies in heaven, but this time was only like one other more than 6 years ago where I was a bit farther along, AND, my body didn't do what was in its nature, and I needed surgery to take care of things.
The surgery went as planned and I'm so thankful for a wise doctor, because I went home that day and began to recover, only to wake up about a day later and be in very intense pain. My OB told me to go to the hospital immediately because the pain was in my lower abdomen and after surgery, this was not normal. The pain was so awful that I couldn't walk and had tears streaming down my face for hours as they tried to manage it and figure out what could be wrong. I had been told many years ago that my gallstones were the worst pain I would experience - I guess they didn't count on this happening to me, because this was by far more painful.
It was finally determined that I had an enormous blood clot in my uterus - most likely due to a clotting problem that I never knew I had. I was taken into surgery and SO much blood was removed and my pain was relieved. But this was the 2nd surgery within four days and no body just rallies immediately back from that. I spent one night in the hospital so they could observe me and was able to go home the following day. I tried to rest as well as I could to fully recover, but after just one more day at home, I woke up in pain once again.
I called my OB immediately and was told to come into the office. What could possibly be wrong this time? My OB has so many years of experience and said that this was something he had never seen. After examination and a test, he could see a lot of blood on top and behind my uterus. He said he needed to go in and figure out what was going on. He said this had nothing to do with my miscarriage or the blood clot.
I was rushed into surgery yet again, this time a bit more invasive and he found a ruptured ovarian cyst as well as another semi-fixable issue. After surgery he was so kind and said this was like lighting striking and he really hasn't seen anything quite like it, because all three of my surgeries that happened within days of each other were not really related and most definitely a "fluke" kind of thing. I was so happy to be out of horrid pain.
I spent extra time in the hospital to ensure that I was really on my way to healing this time and went home with strict instructions to ONLY rest and taking small walks as tolerated. It would be a slower and more painful recovery.
I'm thankful for the encouragement that God provided, both through His Word, and through our friends. We were immensely grateful to those that visited us in the hospital and stayed to encourage even though I know it must have been a bit uncomfortable as I was really having a rough time, even after the surgery due to some recovery complications. We relished those prayer times with people who cared for us.
Now, readers, you might wonder how or why on earth I could be grateful right now when such sorrow and pain has afflicted us recently. Yes, our whole family mourned and we are moving forward with a little bit of heaviness weighing on us. It was extremely sad and so many family dynamics needed to be cared for as it related to everything that happened. But God has been so faithful to really put joy and gratefulness in all of our hearts despite the moments of sadness.
I'm thankful for little things like the continuing overall health that I still have - that I'm able to take my kids on walks without getting fatigued. I'm grateful for resilient children who have bounced back and adapted so well during this season. I'm thankful for a devoted husband who loves me so much and cared/cares for me when I need it most. I'm also grateful for more profound things, like God's faithfulness to supply and sustain us in our endeavor to endure. I'm so appreciative of Christ's death on the cross, because not only did it purchase ME, but it purchased my ability to endure hard things. I could never do it on my own.
"If we endure, we will also reign with him."
2 Timothy 2:12
The energy we have to endure is supplied with the strength God provides us, and this is the reason I am able to be grateful for so many things right now during this (hopefully short!) season of hardship.
Well, I must get back to resting up and healing. I do hope to still write, but I'll confess that being more active has really taken me away from having much time to sit in front of the computer. This is a good thing! The game plan is to continue on with finishing up my Lyme treatment and praying that it won't be too much longer. But I'll tell you - it thus far has been so much easier than it ever has.