Wednesday, September 5, 2012

In every thing give thanks

( Disclaimer: Some of my closest family friends are Doctors. I do not dislike folks who practice medicine. This post is about me as the patient. Also, I love Doctor Who.)

So, I went to the doctor yesterday. As you know, I hardly ever go. I'm not sure what it is I don't like about going to someone when I already don't feel well then they poke and prod me. Wait, maybe it's that, or the fact that I know they will have me as repeat business if there's something wrong with me and it's easy to find something wrong. It could be the guilt some like to pour onto their victims patients about their health ("if you didn't eat that way as a child" and "just exercise and this will go away") when it's not always the fault of the patient (genetics and environmental factors perhaps?). Well, whatever it is that makes me loathe asking for help (possibly pride) I went yesterday.

I didn't actually see a doctor, but went to a practice of two Nurse Practitioners. I trust nurses. They seem more human. Anyway,  I was incredibly nervous about going and had to call upon my sweet 16 year old to have her tell me I had to go inside. I compared my dislike of doctors to her dislike of clowns, which she summed up as an irrational fear and told me to go inside anyway. So in I went.

I filled out the necessary paperwork and in a few moments I was called back. My weight was taken. The nurse did not sigh, or say "humph" or look at me with any kind of "well you would not feel bad if you lost weight" look. She measured my height. It's the same as it has been since I was 14. She took me to a room and measured my blood pressure. I know they don't know where to start with those things so they pump them up until your are sure you will lose the arm, but it was over quickly and I have fantastic BP. I always have. She checked my pulse rate. Now, this sometimes alarms me- as if they are checking to see if I have a pulse AFTER checking my BP. She was satisfied I was alive and told me the NP would be in shortly.

In came Chrisanthi, who will be leaving to do other work in a week. I would only be her patient this week then I would see the other NP if I need to come back. She asked a series of questions about my family history, health in general, and of course my habits. She proceeded to ask me why I came in today. Now, the fear of sounding weird could make me not tell this part, but I'm going to anyway. I wrote a list on post-it's of the things that have been happening to me for the past 4 or so years, and mainly the past 3 weeks continuously. So, I warned her of how strange it all is going to sound, especially because it's on random pieces of paper, then read it aloud. She performed a few other tests and told me what she thought. My Dad has an illness that causes him to create too many red blood cells, so they were going to test for that as well a bunch of other things bloodwork could alert us to. She also told me my options depending on the findings. They didn't sound like anything really helpful because PCV and Fibromyalgia neither one have an easy fix. The nurse came back and took two large vials of blood. That took a little while because my vein walls are super strong and resist being punctured as well as move out of the way. It would take 3-5 days they said. That was yesterday.

Today around lunch time I got a phone call. My blood work was normal. I was expecting something terrible: blood cholesterol or sugar being messed up, maybe my kidneys or liver was barely functioning, or maybe I had too many RBCs. Nope. I fall well within the healthy ranges for everything. I am not malnourished and vitamin deficient. I don't have too much or too little of anything in my blood. I just have pain that seems to have no real cause. Further testing to rule out other things include: blood work for inflammatory markers to see if I have arthritis, hormones out of whack, etc.... She suggested I seek alternative therapy for fibromyalgia pain rather than spend a bunch of money finding out what it all isn't.

But something wonderful has taken place as a result:

Pain. Suffering. Fear of future pain. Being uncomfortable in one's own skin. I think of all these things that Christ had and I wonder how I got so lucky to be able to share in His sufferings. I know I'm not being dragged to death in the Colosseum or dipped in wax and lit like a torch for the Emperor's garden dinner parties, but I do think Christ suffered pain and being uncomfortable in His skin at the end. I imagine that with the flesh hanging from his ragged back the slightest breeze probably felt like agony. I believe that each breath He attempted to take felt heavy and the strain of taking said breath made his joints ache. The metal piercing His hands and feet would have made it impossible to walk or grip anything if he had come down from there. Each second He hung there between Heaven and Earth He was aware of the slowness of time passing. Each drip of salty sweat that ran into His open flesh burned and served as a reminder of what He was doing. His pain was for me. It was for you. His suffering was for my soul. Can I endure some pain for my own good? Can I quietly and without complaining suffer burning and aching without a cause? Can I see my suffering as blessed? In every thing give thanks.....  In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

In. Every. Thing. Give. Thanks.

I'm not sure I have had this kind of peace in a storm like this before. I've had some hard things happen and lived through alot, but seeing my Savior suffering for my soul.... having pain that is mysterious to me, but very real..... in human intellect it doesn't make sense at all. I started this week in a panic just thinking of going to be seen by a doctor and now, I have peace about it. I feel trust towards the Lord and the path He has placed my feet on. I cannot see around the corner....I never could but now I know  that I cannot see the future in any way, but I trust Him more. I pray that I will cling to this very verse:

  In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1Th 5:18

Here's the reality for all of us: This is God's will! It's His will in Christ concerning giving thanks IN EVERY THING. Not in some things. Not even most things but in EVERY thing. That would be ALL things.