Archive for April, 2013

“THE STORY OF A MIRACLE – PART 9”

April 25, 2013

“ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH”

Well, I had a precious daughter cheering me on.  I had been shown over and over I had a husband willing to go the distance with me and I had the promise of God!  What more could a girl want…except her health back!

I certainly want the readers to know I had many days that go on the record of beautiful days!  I have memories of precious people and precious moments of sheer delight.  We had fun times and laughter especially as I began to allow my own heart to be touched.  I began to experience peace like I had never known and I allowed love to fill my heart.

When God told me, “Give Me this day,” I began to understand living today.  I am not saying I mastered this command from God, but I did begin to realize the secret of peace that passes all understanding.  I began to realize that depending on God day by day has a wonderful, calming effect on the soul as well as the spirit.  I began to understand how to live each day, look for the beauty in that day, and surrender my fears to a Father that loves me and cares about every hair on my head!

We took two trips to Colorado during my years of illness to get our “Rocky Mountain High”  We found a dude ranch we went to every three years and totally fell in love with the place and the people who ran it. Again, as I look back at pictures, I don’t remember being as ill as I apparently was.  I just remember how much I loved the mountains.  I have so many great memories and recall a place of great peace and serenity for me.

Colorado #1

Colorado #2

Colorado #3

Colorado #4

Colorado #5

In July of 1995, we made the trip back to the ranch and I was very excited about the trip.  I was really beginning to feel better.  My medications were coming down and hope was filling my heart.  I was totally off of prednisone and I had not had any flare-up for a long time.  My biggest struggle during this time, as I recall, is that even though I felt so much better, each time I went to the doctor, I felt as if he was trying to find problems!  I am, by no means, wanting to shed a dark light on my medical staff!  I had trusted and completely depended on his wisdom for a very long time.  Yet, I knew inside my heart, changes were taking place in my physical body!

I have stated many times, it was as if each time the doctors tried to pin a diagnosis on me, God would just prove them wrong…

            Cancer – NO

            MS – NO

            Lyme disease – NO   

            Autoimmune disease – MAYBE

            Incurable – NO…NOT EVER

I wanted a diagnosis forever, yet now I began to smile because I was believing a different way.  The sun was reflecting deep with my heart.  I remember well going to my doctor in the summer before we made the trip to Colorado and I remember feeling really low as I left his office.  I did not feel  “heard” that day and I felt as though he was still trying to come up with more tests to do as I continued to tell him how well I was feeling.  I cannot explain it and do not recommend it except under the guiding hand of God, but as I walked out of his office that day, I knew I would not be going back **??**

As I mentioned, we took a trip back to the dude ranch in 1995.  I was totally off of prednisone and only on one medication.

We always stopped at my parents’ home on the way to Colorado and spent the night with them.  They were pleasantly surprised at my progress also.  That night as we got ready for bed, I discovered I had forgotten my medication.  I somewhat panicked, but as with a few other times, decided to keep this information to myself!  I did not want a trip ruined and I know if something started to happen, I could get medication sent to me at the ranch.

One of the great adventures offered at the ranch was white water rafting.  Three years before when we were at the ranch, I was not in any shape for that sport, but I had already made up my mind I was rafting this time!  The day came for our rafting trip and I was feeling great!  Off we went!  We were given all the instructions, put on our wet suits, and buckled up tightly in our life jackets.  Then we were told we would have prayer.  I can remember looking at Jerry somewhat wide-eyed wondering what we had gotten ourselves into!  We had been given instructions and advised of danger and now praying!!

I tell this special story because I learned another great lesson that very day as we screamed and rode our raft through some very powerful waters on the Arkansas River.  It was time for me to let go, ride the waves, and step out in great courage, even if the waters were white!

It was time to trust God alone.  Again, I do not recommend this as a way for anyone else.  I just knew in my heart it was over.  I knew I was well and I knew my time of favor had come.  Our trip was perfect and I discovered another sport I am wildly crazy about…white water rafting.

I don’t recall how long before I confessed to Jerry I had forgotten my medicine and I really don’t know how to describe the end.  I just knew as suddenly as this disease had attacked my body, I now knew slowly and surely, from the time I had been given a promise, my promise had come and I was healed and whole under the mighty, powerful, command of God, who had given me a promise that I clung to for many years.

I watched Him remain true to His promise, His very personal, precious promise to me.

*****

Roman 8:25

   “If we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.”

Matthew 9:22

   “Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well”

Colorado #6

“ON A WING AND A PRAYER”

April 22, 2013

Pam and I left Austin Sunday afternoon after the Longhorn baseball game.  It was not a good day for the Longhorns.  They had just lost to West Virginia in the 10th inning.  We had just taken the ramp on the  toll road when the warning bell and light came on and we discovered the engine was heating up.  The message on the dash told us we were low on coolant.  That’s not the most welcome message to receive when we are 260 mines from home.  So, we exited the toll road and traveled back to a convenient store I remembered from a few years back.  We purchased some coolant, and with a full tank, began our journey home.  After passing through Elgin, the temperature gauge indicated the engine was beginning to overheat again.  We stopped at the  next gas station  and purchased more coolant.  I remember at the time saying a prayer and asking God to just get us to College Station where we could stay overnight and get the car repaired on Monday.

As we traveled on to College Station, watching the temperature gauge, I remembered an old saying from World War II…“On a Wing and a Prayer.”  This morning I searched for the origin of this saying:

ON A WING AND A PRAYER

Meaning

In poor condition, but just managing to get the job done.

Origin

This phrase originated during WWII. The earliest reference that I can find to it is in the 1942 film The Flying Tigers. The screenplay, which was written by Kenneth Gamet and Barry Trivers, has John Wayne’s character Captain Jim Gordon saying this in a reference to the flight of replacement pilots:

Gordon:  Any word on that flight yet?

Rangoon hotel clerk: Yes sir, it was attacked and fired on by Japanese aircraft. She’s coming in on one wing and a prayer.

The phrase was taken up by songwriters Harold Adamson and Jimmie McHugh and their  WWII patriotic song Coming in on a Wing and a Prayer, 1943  tells of a damaged warplane, barely able to limp back to base:

One of our planes was missing

Two hours overdue

One of our planes was missing

With all its gallant crew

The radio sets were humming

We waited for a word

Then a noise broke

Through the humming and this is what we heard

Comin’ in on a wing and a prayer

Comin’ in on a wing and a prayer

Though there’s one motor gone

We can still carry on

Comin’ in on a wing and a prayer

 What a show, what a fight, boys

We really hit our target for tonight

How we sing as we limp through the air

Look below, there’s our field over there

With just one motor gone

We can still carry on

Comin’ in on a wing and a prayer

Adamson and McHugh wrote several patriotic songs in World War II and were awarded the Presidential Certificate of Merit by President Harry Truman.

The phrase hit a chord with the public and there are many references to it in US newspapers from 1943 onwards. It was taken up by Hollywood and a film – Wing and a Prayer – was released in 1944.

The allusion to a stricken aircraft limping home may have been influenced by the earlier term ‘winging it‘, which refers to actors struggling through parts that they have recently learned in the wings of a theatre.

The phrase is sometimes given mistakenly as “on a whim and a prayer”, or “on a wink and a prayer”.

We arrived in  College Station without overheating the engine.  After after eating our early evening meal, we added more coolant and decided to travel homeward.  We were traveling “On a Wing and a Prayer” as we traveled on carefully watching the temperature.  All went well until we were about 30 miles from home.  It was time for more coolant.  So, we added coolant and arrived home safe and sound.

*****

After we arrived home, I remembered the Scripture:  Ephesians 3:20-21

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.  Amen.

My prayer in Elgin was for God to just get us to College Station.  We could either stay with a friend or get a room and get the car repaired today.  We really needed to get home last night.  I had an appointment in the afternoon and Pam was scheduled to leave for an appointment with her doctor in Houston.  I was only asking for College Station and thinking we could adjust our schedule for the inconvenience.  God was able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we asked or thought. 

This morning I was able to schedule car repair with someone I know and trust.  Pam is on her way to Houston to see her doctor.  This is truly more than we had hoped for on Sunday afternoon.  It is really comforting to know that in a time of crisis, we can truly go forward “ON A WING AND A PRAYER.”  Was the decision to travel on from College Station tempting fate, dumb luck, or depending on God?  I believe it was having faith in God.  He is ever faithful!!!

“THE STORY OF A MIRACLE – PART 8”

April 18, 2013

“THROUGH THE EYES OF A CHILD”

I have decided to take an emotional break and share a few precious memories as I remember. Our beautiful child also walked this journey each and every day.  I have very precious memories of many days seen through the eyes of an innocent child that had no choice in what was going on in her little world.  There’s no choice for anyone in the family.  This is a fact!

My first trip to the hospital in 1988, she was 5 years old.  I shared her busting into my room never looking more beautiful in her red shirt and pink shorts.  She took one look at me and became very expressive and asked, “Why are you wearing those clothes.”  I had on my gown and robe and of course, those were home clothes!  I had gotten dressed in my own clothing thinking that might make her feel more comfortable.  She knew herself that certain clothes were worn only at home, so she immediately became suspicious and needed an answer.  She did become preoccupied very quickly as I allowed her in the bed and she found the buttons that made the bed move up and down.

I know now, as I talk to Lyndsey, there were many fearful days for her and she had to try to make sense of it all in her own little heart.  She had to deal with these confusions and fears.  No choice!  I did not even know how to deal with prednisone moods myself, but a child who has to decide if this day is a good day or a bad day is another thing entirely.

I have shared that many friends had to step up and help during this time and they never let us down!  On one trip when we were in Houston for a spinal tap, our water pump went out on the car.  This happened when Jerry went to the parking to get our car while I waited at the door of the hospital in a wheelchair.  He had to call our friends to let them know Lyndsey would have to spend the night because we wouldn’t be home until the next day since we had to have our car repaired.  What Lyndsey heard was that our car blew up.  I believe that little girl went to bed having a very difficult night.  I am sure she was happy to see mom and day the next day.

Lyndsey has always been a very independent child and I stated quite precocious.  She stepped up to the plate and certainly did what she could to help dad when mom was in the hospital.  Jerry has a shop behind our house where he does much woodwork and meditation.  He remembers Lyndsey coming out to let him know lunch was ready and when he came into the house, she had set the table (6 years old at the time) and he proceeded to eat…some kind of peach-flour-cobbler
sort of meal.  Of course, daddy ate every bite!

Not too long ago, I ran across a note I had tucked away that I believe clearly states what a little girl was dealing with.

Mom #1

When I was in the hospital before Thanksgiving, we got a day pass and took Lyndsey to ice skate at the Galleria and look at the beautiful decorations for Christmas.  This was when I really began to contemplate the future of the Burrows family and we all know how sentimental we can feel during the holidays.  My emotional state was very raw on that trip out of the hospital.  I remember crying A LOT!  I think for the most part, as a mom, I just tried to make sure Lyndsey saw me as normal as possible.  But this day, I just could not hold it all together.  Lyndsey remembers that day too, and talks about being very afraid, and sure that I was going to die.  WOW!  She never told me that until she was grown.  How does a child deal with such reality?

My heart overflows with love for a little girl who got mad at mom stating “dad just seems so tired because he has so many jobs to do,” and mom is just laying in the bed.

Mom #6

My heart overflows for a dad that took her to work with him, washed her face, made sure she bathed and got that school work, baked the cookies that were needed at school, helped her create special gifts for me while in the hospital, taught her to love unconditionally in a crazy family that was her very own…

Mom #5

I have felt very compelled to allow my readers to see a little further into the Burrows’ home during this crisis.  I have said many times when one in the family is ill, the whole family unit is broken and needs the attention, protection, and healing that God alone can give.  God is sufficient for all and He can faithfully work all things together for good.  He is faithful, He is faithful, He is faithful.

Mom #31

With wide-eyed, beautiful, blue-eyed wonder, my little girl prayed for her mom and loved me perfectly…

Let the little children come unto me…

 My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; the humble shall hear of it and be glad.  Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together

Mom #9

 

“THE STORY OF A MIRACLE – PART 7”

April 12, 2013

I KNOW, I KNOW.  Cry, plead and then receive a promise from God and decide to “play like” I didn’t.  One thing about that scenario…I could not deny knowing God has spoken.

The fear came from the reality!  When I received God’s promise, there was no doubt in my heart or mind that I was going to receive God’s touch and this horrendous illness was going to end, but what if?

I don’t remember how long I waited to tell Jerry, but I think it was about a 4 month period.  I was not sure how he was going to respond to this news especially as we continued to fight the illness on a daily basis.  I finally called him one morning at work and told him I needed to tell him something.  I smile now thinking of my precious husband’s response…the same response I receive, even now, as I tell him I must talk to him.  Calmly, quietly, he said, “OK.”  I shared with Jerry all that happened that special morning and he said, “OK.”

Calm, cool, sure, and certain that I assuredly knew I had received my promise.  This remained our precious, sacred promise for a long time!  It’s hard to explain, but there is something so holy about knowing you have been in God’s presence!  The reverence of His presence and the fear of the Lord are very real.  What is also real is knowing in your heart, yet living a very different reality.

By the spring of 1991, I had decided to seek a new doctor because I truly felt that all my doctors at The Diagnostic Clinic had reached the end of their knowledge with no diagnosis, just medicine.  A friend of mine’s mother was very ill with an auto-immune disease and was seeing a rheumatologist in Houston.  She recommended him and I did the research and made an appointment.  I immediately felt I was in the right place.  We start all over again trying to explain the mystery and fighting the fight of extreme hopelessness.  Immediately, the doctor is scheduling spinal taps and blood work without taking me off steroid treatment because he did not want me to have a flare-up.  Back and forth to Houston, wondering still what in the world was going on and remembering God’s promise to me.

I began to hear the words “auto-immune disease” and realized they were suspecting systemic lupus as my diagnosis.  The blood work for me was apparently causing much alarm.  Red blood cells dying, white blood cells out of control…truly I really don’t remember much during this time, but next on the table for me was bone marrow testing.

Although this test is over as soon as it is over, the process is not a fun one!  I kept thinking of my bible study teacher who lay with her child during this test and knew I had the strength to go through this.

I was finally told that they would not consider taking me off of my medications, prednisone and imuran at the time.  Imuran is an immune system drug to almost try to shut down the immune system because basically my immune system was attacking me.

This was all going on medically and life at home was difficult.  I again was pleading with God because even with the promise of healing, the day-to-day battles were large.  I made the mistake of trying to figure out the future…the internal questions kept coming…

How bad is this going to get before I get well?…

How long before I get well?…

Will I have problems that won’t go away?…

I remember one day standing at the kitchen sink and crying out to God and clearly hearing His voice.  His instructions to me were…”Give Me this day!”…  I thought, “I can do that”.

I bring this up because I knew God was trying to teach me a life lesson!  We, to this day, try to now live our lives this way!

I was being told I would never be well but I was never unsure of God’s promise to me.  What a battle to fight in the mind!

Life at home was changing much and the healing of two hearts was very evident.  The man I had married was proving his commitment to me day by day and my heart had been through a total transplant.  I began to realize my husband was the greatest gift I could have in my life.  I realized he was dependable, strong, stable, and willing to change many things in his own life in order to take care of Lyndsey and me.  I knew his love for us was real and everlasting.  I will never be able to express how much this affected me.  He was my rock. 

I was finally put on plaquenil and my dosage of steroids was down.  My body began to look more normal and I truly began to see some light.  My largest challenge now was fighting the mental battles.  The doctor says, “Incurable,” and God says, “It is time to show favor to her…the appointed time has come.”

 

“A NATURAL HIGH”

April 11, 2013

As we travel, Pam and I experience many great and unusual adventures.  We traveled to Austin last weekend for three days of Longhorn Baseball.  There is always excitement at the baseball field and we are just excited to be together enjoying one another.  We traveled through Bryan on the way and stopped at Madden’s.  This is a great restaurant and it is located within an antique store where Pam likes to browse for a few minutes after we have eaten our meal.  It doesn’t take me long to make a pass through the antique store, so I made a round and went to the car to read my book.  That works out for both of  us.

This  is not an adventure about “A Natural High” at the restaurant or antique store.  After the game on  Saturday, we enjoyed a Starbucks coffee on the patio in  the Arboretum area and then ate at Manuel’s Mexican Restaurant.  There is a yogurt place just down  the street and Pam decided she would like a dessert.  When we walked in the yogurt shop, this young man stood on a stool or something and with great joy, said, “Hey there, come on in!”  He acted like he knew us, but we had never seen him on  our prior visits.  Pam began looking over the yogurt selection and asked the young man if she could have a “tasting cup.”  He looked very serious and told her NO!  He said we don’t do that anymore.  She was shocked until he started laughing and handed her a cup.  This young man was so filled with joy it made us happy also.

I’ve never been a yogurt person, but I asked Pam to fixed me a cup of whatever she was having.  As we were weighing in, the young man told us he was 25 years old and had just been issued his first driver’s license.  He had never driven a car before but he said his grandmother had given him and car, so he had to take the driver’s test.  I was shocked to see someone his age who had never driven a car.  I guess he had either walked or peddled a bicycle until now.  I told him  it was nice for his grandmother to give him  a car.  He told us she was not really his grandmother…he didn’t have a grandmother.  She was just a good friend and he considered her his grandmother.  He got all excited again, and jumped up and pointed to the parking lot and told us the white Lexus was his.  This young man was really on “A Natural High.”

*****

Pam and I have learned there are many exciting adventures along life’s path.  I wonder how many we have missed just because we haven’t taken the time to just look to the right or to the left.  Many times we get zeroed in on  the path straight ahead and don’t allow the adventures on each side to enter into our world.  As I think about this young man I can’t  help wonder if he was not on a “Natural High” at all.  He may have been on  the greatest high of all…“A Spiritual High.”  It is hard to imagine so much joy being natural.  True joy and peace come only from  God and we have experienced a “Spiritual High” at various times as we’ve traveled down life’s path.  That kind of high is above description, except you know when you are in  the presence of a loving God.

“CONFIDENCE”

April 10, 2013

 

I was wondering this morning why so many views for this post.  Were people in agony and/or misery, with a little heartbreak included?  Many of the comments were from men who trained in Fort Knox and experienced the three hills up close and personal.

As I thought about the time I trained with the US Army, I realized I didn’t understand exactly what the Army was trying to do to and for me.  They were trying to build confidence in me and prepare me  to defend my country if it became necessary.  At the time, I only thought they were either trying to kill me or make  me the most miserable young man in  the nation.

When my unit would load themselves down with equipment and begin the march out to the training area, it was a challenge just to carry the weight.  But, that was on level ground.  Then, as we arrived at one of the hills, we were challenged to bear the weight and  march down to the valley below.  Holding back on the downgrade was much more difficult that marching on level ground.  One of the areas of training was call “THE CONFIDENCE  COURSE.”   The first time I experienced this course my thoughts were, “Confidence?  You have to be kidding me.”  You are really trying to destroy all the confidence I ever had.  I wondered if  I could actually get through the course.  It had all kinds of obstacles and sapped the strength from  us.  But, each time we ran the course, I became confident that I could make it  through.  I was pretty hard-headed as a young man and determined to go through the physical challenge each time.  I realize now that the Army was indeed building not  only my confidence but the confidence each of  the  men in my unit needed to work as a team.

After building our confidence on this course, we had the pleasure of marching  back to the barracks.  This meant that we would be required to attack one the  hills.  This  time we would  be  marching up the hill rather than holding back to keep from rolling down to the valley.  These hills are a real challenge when rested, so after building our confidence (physically drained), we were required to march up one of these steep hills.  There were a few of the troops early in our training who couldn’t march up the steep grades.  But, being a team, we had the privilege of carrying them.  I guess this comes under “leave no man behind.”  But, as we progressed in  our training, we were confident we could survive the hills, confidence course, and anything the Army would require of  us.

The Army provided the valleys and the mountain tops to build our confidence both physically and mentally.  They knew we could never be the best if we only had the valleys or the level ground to challenge.  They knew we needed to sometimes be in  the valley and be challenged to rise to the mountain  top.  Little did I realize at the time, they were also building my Spiritual  confidence.

*****

As we go through the good times and  the bad times we experience in our homes, our work places, and other activities of life, we will sometimes be on level ground or  deep in the valley.  There is only one way to reach the mountain top and soar like an eagle.  The valley is  where we build our confidence (faith) in God.  This does not mean we will remain on the  mountain  top.  We need the valley to learn again  about  the love and strength of  our God who promised He would never leave us.  It is only by faith in the power of God that we can again leave the valley and experience the mountain  top.  Each time we make this round trip, our relationship  with God becomes closer as we feel His presence through all of our ups and down.

 

“THE STORY OF A MIRACLE – PART 6”

April 9, 2013

Readers: Thank you for holding on and continuing to press toward the final chapter of this story.  We all know it has a blessed ending but I have felt it was important to allow you to know the  desperation of the lives we were living, and furthermore, rejoice and find hope if you are walking a desperate journey now.

I have repeated a number of times I knew people were becoming concerned and I knew people were praying.

Sometimes in the early spring (1989) I was invited to a ladies bible study being held in a friend’s home.  The lady teaching this study was an acquaintance of mine but I did not know her well.  What I did know was part of her “story.”  She had a daughter that at the age of 7 lost her battle with leukemia.  I believe she was 3 when she got ill.  I decided to say yes to the bible study and started going weekly.  I remember feeling somewhat timid (not my nature) and also not sure what I was getting myself into.  I was trying to keep it all together as I am a somewhat private person.  I was becoming increasingly self-conscious of my appearance and really did not want to be out in the public eye.  I sure did not want to talk about my feelings, my pain, my fears, and probably not my relationship with God!  Yet, week after week I kept going back.

This teacher was amazing!  She was real.  She was open and honest, and she had certainly walked a path none of us ever want to be asked to walk…losing a child.  She talked of trying to help a 4-year-old understand that in taking the “poison” of chemo, she might get well.  She talked of lying on the floor in the hospital while her child screamed during bone marrow testing.  She talked of knowing when God allowed her to know her child was not going to live, and I saw nothing but a peace that truly passed all understanding.  She talked of choosing an outfit for her child to wear in a casket and she talked of the day her child left her physical body and flew into the arms of her precious Lord and I saw nothing but love for her Lord.  I was affected!

Just as I told you I began to be affected by my husband’s strength and love, I can assure you I was being affected by this woman’s passion for her Savior, Redeemer, and Friend.

She talked of hearing God.  She talked of her quiet time early in the morning and how that became her life-line.  She talked of spending time reading God’s word and getting answers through His word.

I had never heard such a testimony and I had never lived this way.

I am told by this lady she did not know what was going through my mind because I never spoke at this bible study.  I do remember tears falling as I tried to write notes and I do remember making a decision that maybe I would get up early or at least sometime during the day try to read my bible and sit quietly and pray.  I was certainly feeling desperate enough!

I was beginning to be afraid of my future and I was feeling more and more like this was not going away.  When I go to the doctors and they are beginning to throw their hands up because they have no idea what is going on, I began to question the deeper issues of my life.  I began to consider that I may not get well and get on with the life I had planned out.

Week by week back to the bible study I went, feeling drawn by something I did not even understand.

One of the great pleasures this lady leading bible study was that she was very familiar with prednisone and the ‘crazies” that go hand in hand with it.  I felt very comfortable in her presence and I felt like she totally got what I was going through.

I did begin my journey of arising and sitting with my bible on my lap ready to see what God had to say to me and ready to tell Him my concerns and fears.  I remember feeling a bit funny and awkward but desperation and God seemed to go hand in hand for me now.  I was also beginning to feel tremendous isolation because of illness keeping me in bed and then not wanting to be out around people.

When I was out anywhere, people would either not recognize me or they would look so terrified and concerned.  I felt safe with my bible study group and began to feel safe with God too.  I think I may have even begun looking forward to my time with Him.

I was back in the hospital in the summer of 1989 and began to have many other problems.  I always said I was thankful for the blotches on my skin because otherwise, I would have felt I may be going crazy.  This physical manifestation was the only visible sign of illness.  Every other symptom was internal but the doctors were assuring me that what was going outside my body was most likely going on internally also.  Thus began spinal taps because I had been on large doses of prednisone.  Prednisone can mask many problems and alter blood work results I was told.  Onward we went to the best of our abilities. I began to suffer tremendous pain and at times could hardly walk.  I went through a period of about 6 months when I had to sleep in the chair because I could not lay in the bed.  I felt as if I was being crushed by water.  That is the “Pam definition.”

One morning while sitting during my quiet time, I was reading a Psalm and it read:  “…for it is time to show favor to her, the appointed time has come.”  This was on September 24.  I knew without a doubt I had just received a promise from God and I was scared to death.  I closed my bible and said nothing to anyone….

 

“THE STORY OF A MIRACLE – PART 5”

April 4, 2013

As I read over this part of Pam’s miracle story, I realized men and women really do see and experience events from a very different point of view.  From my side of this story it was impossible for me to know and feel the pain and suffering she was experiencing.  I was not walking in her shoes.  She explains so well what she was going through at the time and, after reading this, I understand more and more the difficulties she experienced.  Men and women to not see things in  the same way and God’s sees things entirely different from us.  We often only see things from the outside and God sees from the outside and the inside.

*****

One of the blessings or curses of living in a small town is that news does travel fast!  I have stated earlier, I know people were beginning to be very concerned about my health.  My look had changed considerably and within 5 months of illness, I had been hospitalized twice for 12 days at a time.  That is a lot of depending on others and a lot of time away from home for a wife and mother.  I really think I had checked out on those two job descriptions (wife & mother) because I was focused so much on getting well.  That took tremendous energy!   I also know now how sad it makes me to think of the things I missed out on with my precious daughter, but have to believe that everything all of us went through made us the family we are today.  That road I just cannot travel!

Jerry and Lyndsey have a relationship few fathers and daughters have and I know without a doubt, their bond is very special to both of them.  When “dad” is the support of the family, then becomes the counselor, the hairdresser, the laundry man, the car pool, the cook, the entertainment to a 5-year-old girl, it is inevitable a bond will be formed.

Jerry was an executive officer at a financial institution, so he did have some freedom to come and go as needed.  The whole bank family was very important to us at this time and Lyndsey had her own “office” also.  She spent many hours there when I was in the hospital and during those worst days when I was just home in the bed.  Many of the women helped by loving her and listening to her.  She also had a very special “nanny” in her life who could be called on at a moment’s notice.  Thinking back on the gestures of kindness always gives my heart an overwhelming sense of love and appreciation!

I can remember how excited I would be for Lyndsey and Jerry to come to Houston to see me in the hospital.  One time I remember Lyndsey bursting into my room with PINK SHORTS

Pint Shorts

                       

On, along with her favorite RED T-SHIRT

 Red T-Shist

 

And I knew Jerry had allowed her to dress herself!  She looked beautiful to me.  One time we got a day pass and took Lyndsey to ice skate at the Galleria.  I don’t remember if she skated, I just remember crying.  I remember wanting to be home and I remember feeling overwhelmed with the love my husband was showering on us both!  He was there, he was committed and he was doing everything he knew to do in order to keep our family together.

As I ended my last post, I commented I wondered if I would be home for Thanksgiving.  On Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I came home to a beautiful meal prepared by my husband along with a few side dishes from friends.  When friends would call to see what they could do, Jerry would let them know all he had planned.  He wanted to make sure if I got to come home we would have the meal I would have prepared, or if I was not coming home he and Lyndsey would be bringing that meal to Houston!

I was beginning to be affected by my husband’s constant love.  I will interject at this time, the love and appreciation I have always had for my own daddy.  As I stated earlier, my daddy was left at age 27 with 3 babies when my mother suddenly died and he, too, had to learn how to just do what had to be done.  I have often wondered where the strength comes from when your own pain is so real and so overwhelming.  I have adored him my whole life as I understand his pain was set aside as he tended his babies and just did what had to be done.

Again, I assure you, illness affects everyone in the family.  I believe God was changing my feeling for my husband and He was showing me day by day how much I could depend on Jerry to be there.  No matter how difficult each day was, Jerry was there to provide the love and strength Lyndsey and I both needed.  I do not ever remember him complaining and I never felt as though he would tell me he didn’t want this job.  He just loved me.  He was my strength, and he was assuring me every day that we were going to be fine.  He loved Lyndsey and allowed her to be a precocious 5-year-old with a very strong sense of responsibility to take care of her daddy.

God’s ways are not our ways……

 

“THE STORY OF A MIRACLE – PART 4”

April 1, 2013

Pam just gave me the fourth part of “The Story of a Miracle,” and as I read it and prepared to insert it into my blog, it brings back the memories of the horrors she endured during those times.  I had not remembered the details of the pain and suffering she experienced.  I commend and honor her for experiencing this ordeal once again to tell her story.  If you have comments or words of encouragement, please feel free to express them.

*****

I don’t believe I will ever forget the pain I was in the day I left to go to Houston Diagnostic Clinic.  I had an appointment with another dermatologist.  I packed an overnight bag because I had a feeling I would be checking into the hospital.  I could hardly put my arms down because I could feel the blood rushing through the lesions and the pulsing was unbearable.  I was very ill and I knew it.  I also knew I was feeling very desperate.  When I got to the doctor’s office, I was immediately told I would be going into the hospital.  I think I truly felt relief.  I was in such pain and extreme fear as to what could possibly be going on.  Here I was going from tennis, golf, gardening, and tending to a 5 year old child to hardly able to walk.  I had literally been in the bed most of a month and feeling extremely helpless.  I never dreamed I was beginning a 7 year journey.

I was put on the infectious disease floor and certainly saw tremendous heartache.  When a person is in the hospital, the other sick people in the hospital become your family.  It is as if walls and barriers are just gone.  I became friends with 2 men that were suffering greatly from HIV and I met their mothers.  When I tell you illness affects the whole family, I always think of these precious men that both lost their fight with an evil illness.

My journey immediately was the challenge of  many specialists.  I had my dermatologist, I had an internist, I had a gastro-internist, blood disorder doctor, and I had an eye specialist.  I was put on 200 mg of prednisone and medication for infection.  Again, within 2 days, I looked as though nothing was wrong with me.  I honestly felt like I was going to pop out of my skin.  I spent 12 days with blood work being done daily and checked out of the hospital without a clue as to what was going on.  I was set up on a schedule of taking prednisone levels down more slowly and cautiously.  I was told at this time that “Sweet’s Syndrome” was a secondary syndrome to many cancer patients and that was what my doctors were looking for.

I can assure you my cocktail of medications and 7-8 doctors a day were no way to start the day nor was it the plan I had for my life!

I came home and proceeded cautiously and also began to see some mysterious changes going on with my body.  Prednisone, as I stated earlier, has its own agenda and while it can certainly control inflammation and make things appear well, it is also not something fun to deal with as far as side effects go.  I appeared normal as far as the lesions went, but many abnormal signs of steroid treatment were taking a toll.

WOW #4

Going back and forth to different doctors became our lifestyle and I have many people to thank again for all they did.  When you live 600 miles from family and you have a child, you learn quickly to accept the help offered and to be thankful for all the people you have been blessed to call dear.  I believe I was going to Houston at least every couple of weeks to see one or more specialists.  No real changes and so cautiously once again, the doctors concluded this mysterious illness was gone by the first of October.  I cannot begin to tell you how happy I was.

Our daughter had a special fall carnival planned at her school at the end of October.  I was so excited to be a part and had helped with the planning and was also to be there working a particular booth.  When I woke that morning and started getting ready, I looked in the mirror and to my horror, no doubt in my mind, the blisters were back.  Approximately 10 days had passed since my last day of medication and the roller coaster ride was on again!

What I remember next is wondering will I be out of the hospital for Thanksgiving…