Last week I wrote about needing to stop doing and start listening. The Lord made sure that happened.
The stopping part started with a ride in an ambulance.
I found myself last Thursday night about 11:00 being put in the back of an ambulance and on my way to the hospital. Numbness and tingling in your left arm and a sudden onset of your throat closing up are a couple of signs that the best place you could be in that moment is in the back of an ambulance. As I was driven away from my children, my husband, and my home I could do nothing but pray. Pray, and listen. Listen for the Lord’s calming voice. Listen for reassurance that even this is a part of His plan.
The next few hours are a blur. I know that my speech was struggling. I couldn’t lift my left arm or squeeze the neurologist’s hand. I couldn’t swallow correctly. But, I could look at my husband and feel safe. I could feel my oldest son’s hand on my shoulder. I could silently pray and feel calm. I didn’t understand most of what was going on, but I did somehow understand that no matter what, all of this would be ok.
As that night turned into the next morning, I found myself being admitted for further testing and observation. After several hours, and many tests, the doctors ruled out a stroke. However, by Friday afternoon I had been told that my MRA had shown a small brain aneurysm. I needed another test.
So, we waited. And waited some more. It actually took until Saturday morning to get the next test completed. And then, we waited some more. Waiting is usually very, very hard for me. However, this time, I just felt calm and peace. I could do absolutely nothing but Stop. But Pray. But Listen. And the funny thing is, the more that all of these things were my only option, the more I trusted. Trusted in a God that was in control.
Late Saturday, the “Neuro Guys”, as we affectionately called them came into my room. We had not expected to see them until Sunday morning. They were smiling. This was good. They showed us how the original MRA had found the aneurysm. Then they showed us how the new test did NOT show an aneurysm. Praise God.
We now knew I did not have a stroke and I did not have an aneurysm. Still, no one knew what I did have. I was told they would check on me in the morning to see if my symptoms had improved, so just to try to rest. I sent Ray Don home for the night to sleep in our own bed since the poor guy had been sleeping on a couch in my hospital room half the size of his body for the previous two nights. I settled in for a night alone in the hospital room.
I realized a couple of things as I laid there in that dark and quiet room. In twenty years of marriage I had never slept away from home by myself while my husband was at home with the kids. Ironically though, I felt completely safe and at peace.
I still did not know what was wrong with me. I still had numbness, heaviness, and tingling in my left arm. I was still having some heaviness in my left eye socket. But, in spite of everything I didn’t know, the things I did know were becoming so very clear to me as I laid there in that room alone. I know that I have a Saviour that loves me more than I deserve. I have a God that was not surprised by me laying in that hospital bed in that very moment. I have a Creator that made every intricate part of me. And I choose to have faith in this same God that uses everything for His glory, for my good. In this I can rest. I rested well Saturday night, truly not at all alone.
I woke up Sunday morning feeling so much better. My left arm was still a little “cold”, but I could freely move it and the tingling was gone. The heaviness around my eye socket was gone. His mercies are new each morning. After consulting with the Neuro Guys late Sunday afternoon, they felt I was not in any danger that would be caused by releasing me. (This could also be due to the fact that every part of my insides had been looked at and I was told I was one of the healthiest people they had seen in a while from the inside out. Basically there was nothing left to test!) In the end, it seems I may have had an extremely severe adverse reaction to a medication I had been given a few days before this.
I may never know exactly what happened. And, completely out of character for me, that is ok with me.
My family is experiencing a season of many things that we do not understand right now. Some of these things feel like we can’t see an end in sight. These are the things I am struggling with saying it “is ok with me” just yet. But, God is patient. God is teaching me and molding me. God loves my family more than I ever could.
God is good. God has a plan. God is faithful. These are all things I do know. And because these are truths I can rest in, I am slowly learning I can rest in them ALL the time…even in the back of an ambulance.
(I am participating in something called Walk with Him Wednesday’s at the blog site A Holy Experience. Please join Ann Voskamp and others for encouragement as we learn to walk this path of suffering together.)