Sitting in my little cubical of a hospital room, awaiting to see what a new medication will do to my heart, I curiously and intently listen to the conversations that occur in the busy hallway just outside of my door that separates my own battle with those that are also battling the same thing.
In fact, I know that right on the other side of the curtain sits a woman whose battle with health issues has been a books worth from what I’ve understood, purely from the fact that many of the nurses know her. She’s a frequent flyer. At times I feel the same, recognizing various people from different branches of the hospital, but just taking one listen to what’s going on, on the other side of the curtain, it’s going to be a long haul.
This morning, I thought I would start a morning routine by waking up and while I waited for my room service breakfast to arrive (living in luxury over here), I decided to get a pep in my step by going for a good walk around the cardiac floor. As I peered into the various rooms, housed with patients, I recognized the oddity that I am, but also the fact that I am incredibly humbled and thankful that God would choose for me to just have heart problems and not any other underlying issues. I know it’ll be a lifelong battle for me too, but it’s a bit depressing to see the health of the majority of the people here. The scope of hope when it comes to their personal health seems dim.
As I rounded the final corner, I started to feel extremely winded, a bit lethargic, as two nurses came flying up to me, asking if I felt okay. I wasn’t sure what to say because I knew something was up, but I couldn’t find the words. They said my heart rate was bouncing between 160-180 and as seconds passed, I knew I was about to pass out. By God’s grace there was a wheelchair literally right next to us, so they quickly grabbed that as I plopped in like I had walked 10 miles to get to that point. My blood pressure would prove that I was having a cardiac event, but what it was, wasn’t clear. After a few minutes, I felt significantly better, and on the path to getting better. Until I took another walk, and another, and those episodes kept happening. After receiving and allowing another dose of the medication to get into my system, hours later I felt incredibly better and haven’t had an episode since. And Lord-willing it’s going to stay that way!
So what’s the plan? Continue to give me doses of this new medication in hopes that my PVCs will eventually subside. Unfortunately after upping the medication again, I am still having them, but we are confident we will find the right dose, and we pray those episodes are complete.
Has this gone as planned? Not quite, but one thing I’ve realized while sitting here, trying to figure out if I can get up and just simply walk, is nothing good comes easily. Of course good things happen abruptly and when we least expect them. But we don’t know what good us, until we know what the opposite feels like. Until we see what life could be like – the side of life we’d rather not take a tour down.
But I look back at my life and often the nurses ask, “So, how did you get here? What led to all of this?” Of course that opens a can of worms or I should say tuna b/c I like tuna, but it gives me an opportunity to talk about the tough times and that without my faith I couldn’t have gotten through it, but also that all of those circumstances have made me the person I am today. I wouldn’t know what it’s like to feel good, if I didn’t experienced the bad. And be able to see what those around me are experiencing, in the rooms beside me. The diabetes. The respiratory issues. The coughing. The struggling to walk. The struggle to take the next breath. Ya see and hear it all.
My faith though, wouldn’t be where it’s at, if it wasn’t challenged. If it was easy. It would be shallow, surface-y, with a small root base, if everything had come easily. But in it all, I also realize how much my faith has yet to grow – boy does it have a LONG ways to go, my friends! In seeing those around me, my gratitude for my situation increases all the more, knowing my life could look very different too. It helps keep everything in perspective, doesn’t it?
One thing I’m constantly learning is that I’m confident God’s sanctifying work within me isn’t always going to happen when it’s easy. God works for the good, even when things aren’t easy. Are we willing to accept that as his children? That some of the lessons we have to learn, may come when the rubber has to meet the road? Let Christ’s death on the cross, be proof that good does not always come easy. But in the end, it will be sanctifying, gratifying, faith-filling, and completely worth it!