I know it's been a long time since I've posted. I've been busy (by my terms anyway.) Last week I spent from Tuesday through Sunday at my dad's house...It was really wonderful having him for company....although it was not without it's bumps in the road.
One bump was that I was in the midst of a massive flare. Probably the worst one I've ever had. (I have an autoimmune disease that is relentlessly destroying my joints and other tissues..organs etc.) I suffered with it for a week. Some days were so bad that all I could do was rely heavily on my pain medicine and stay in bed. By Friday I'd had all I could take. I emailed my Rheumatologist --concerned by the lab results I'd gotten from last Tuesday's blood draw...all my "bad news" markers were pegged at the top of the scale. On Sunday he responded to my email and said he wanted me to take 6 days of Medrol (Yes, a cursed steroid) and to think about changing medications. He suggested Orencia. I've been on the Cosentyx for the majority of a year, certainly long enough to see that it was not cutting it.
Dad and I did some shopping...he took me to a mall where I sketched people for a while in the food court and then we shopped a bit (me in the wheelchair). Then one day we set out (Friday I think) we went for a ride, ostensibly to find a spot where I might sketch. Instead we found a creamery with the best ice cream I've had ANYWHERE. it had picnic tables overlooking a valley with a view that just went on and on. We drove most of that day, stopping in Warwick where there used to be a pen shop...but alas, it was gone. So instead, we looked around at their shops and then headed back toward home...with one more stop at a place that housed a huge "wild" collection of well-maintained herbs. We stopped and I took some pictures some of which I will post here:
Saturday we spent mostly recovering…and I was still leveled by pain….Sunday was a busy day…we went to church and then stayed after to enjoy some pizza that was donated by a local pizza shop. Then it was off to Shop Rite where I did my shopping for the week. Then back to dad’s to rearrange the car and to bring my stuff from the house to the car for my return home. Then the 45 minute drive home and suddenly to realize I’d bought a bag of produce at a farm market the day before and left it at dad’s…He will bring it to me today.
God blessed me in that I managed to do all that Sunday without horrible pain. There was pain but it had dropped to a manageable level.
On the trip home, we were listening to a Bluegrass CD made by a group based at my dad’s church. There was song after song about loss and heaven. And one of those songs gripped me by the throat. Dad got quiet too…I reached over and squeezed his hand…an action completely foreign to me. I enjoy hugs but seldom initiate them. And, while dad is suffering and so am I, we don’t really talk about it. I don’t know why this is…but it has always been this way. But there have been moments when we were close together in grief…such as the moment when the man from the mortuary opened the casket for us to say our goodbyes. I broke down…and dad reached for me and pulled my close to his side. The scratchy feel of his suit against my face will be forever embedded in my mind as that moment of great sorrow went by.
There have been SO many deaths in the past couple of years, woman after woman has been widowed in my church. In my dad’s church man after man has been widowed. Relatives are leaving us. People whom I’ve known all my life …suddenly are here no more. Heaven is pressing in.
Today my Facebook post was about grief. The verse I posted was this:
Though he brings grief, he also shows compassion because of the greatness of his unfailing love. Lamentations 3:32 (NLT)
And the song I posted there was the one in my header here. Shane and Shane, Ps. 46.
If you are sorrowing….or if you are in mourning over abilities you’ve lost to disease or accident, I’m here to tell you that you are NOT alone. Not only are there people such as myself who’ve been there, but the Lord your God is there with you in the midst of your sadness. He is the light in the tunnel…the hand that you reach for in the darkness. Reach for him. He is there waiting for you.