Monday, October 21, 2013

Love Like Jesus

Well, my Facebook status from a few hours ago seems like a good jumping off point.

By the way, Seizure #6 was yesterday at church.  I didn't mention it because...well, I didn't want to, and because I thought that it wasn't all that important, figuring it was just a freak thing since my body would take a few days to adjust to the 3000 mg/day dosage of my seizure medicine that I just started on Friday.

Yeah...not so much a freak thing.  I had yet another seizure in Reformation today.  Bryce, Jayshawn, James, and Clayton were Jesus with skin on per usual and took fantastic care of me until the paramedics got there.  All I remember is feeling the seizure coming on, turning slightly around and saying "James, come here," because James sits in the row behind me.  I know that James caught me when I blacked out so I didn't hit anything and other guys helped him get me on the ground safely.  Which is what made it so weird that I woke up from the seizure with such bad back pain that I seriously wondered if I had cracked a vertebrae or something, because the slightest little movement made me want to scream.

I then spent 3 solid hours laying on a backboard in searing pain as they tried to get good scans of my neck and back.  The doc couldn't let me off the backboard until radiology came back with results.  He wouldn't give me pain meds until he knew exactly what was going on with my body.  The X-ray people couldn't get clear scans because I couldn't take my clothes off (jeans, bra, etc.) because I was on the backboard, so then I had to spend quite some time being slid back and forth through the CT tube because that was their only shot at getting remotely clear shots of my spine.  Then, I was taken back to my room and laid there crying in pain for a sweet forever until they finally told me the CTs were clear, got me off the backboard, and ordered Dilaudid.  Surprisingly, the doctor went ahead and ordered 2 mg, which I usually have to request, but I suppose my hours of crying in pain was enough request in itself. ;)

So here's the deal.  Remember how every other time I went to the ER after a seizure and they treated me for a UTI, either with IV antibiotics or giving me a prescription when I left?  Well, it's a darn good thing that I went to the same ER every time (except yesterday, since my church is in Dunn so I was forced to go to crappy Betsy Johnson but they didn't do a urine sample, anyway) because the doctor looked at my lab results from my visits of the past few weeks and deduced that the UTI never went away despite the various antibiotics.  It instead just got worse and worse and by today was a full-blown infection into my kidneys, which explains the excruciating back pain.  I still can't figure out why I never had a single symptom of a UTI until this past Friday, the day I finished the last antibiotic I got from the hospital.

Since an infection of any kind increases the likelihood that a person with a seizure disorder will have a seizure, it makes perfect sense that a chronic-UTI-turned-kidney-infection would cause a sudden onslaught of 7 seizures in 24 days.  They gave me several antibiotics via IV while I was there, plus a prescription for a 10-day antibiotic that I haven't tried yet. They are also doing a culture of my urine in the lab to make sure that I am on the best possible antibiotic for whatever kind of bacteria is causing the infection, and they will call me within a few days if I need to get on a new one.  The doc was very nice and gave me another mg of Dilaudid before they discharged me, my friend Sarah came and picked me up and once again bought my prescription for me because I am broke until the end of the month, and I came back and immediately got some food from Jole Mole because it was like 5:30 when I arrived and I hadn't eaten a thing since 9 am this morning, and I have spent the rest of the night trying to get comfortable but totally failing because kidney infections are no joke and my lower back is in what feels like the most pain it's been in since I had my spine surgery.

So there's the details.  I'm just praying that this is actually what has been causing the seizures and that once this infection goes away, my life will return to...the weird form of normal that it is now.  Since I haven't been able to get comfortable, and I can't focus on work thanks to 3 mg of Dilaudid, I've basically spent a lot of time laying around thinking about today and how absolutely blessed I am.  I can't ignore the fact that I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams when God surrounds me with tangible reminders of just how much I am loved, not just by Him, but by so many people.

Classmates who do anything necessary to keep me calm and comfortable and take care of me until paramedics arrive.

Friends who pray for me endlessly, sometimes without even knowing something is wrong.

Nurses who hold my hand while I cry in pain.

X-ray and CT techs who ask me every five seconds if they're hurting me when they're just trying to do their job.

Hospital "comfort care workers" who spend 15 minutes just listening to me to let me vent about how frustrated I am.

My church family who leaves messages that they're praying for me because of yesterday, not even knowing what was going on today.

Professors who seem to be endless fountains of grace.

Taylor, who spent an hour on the phone with me, managing to bring me from the verge of tears to smiles and confidence about God's plan in all of this, and who was also simply just a friendly voice to break the silence of sitting in that ER room by myself.

Sarah, a girl I barely knew two weeks ago, who has provided rides and bought me 4 prescriptions without a second thought.

I'm sure I'm forgetting someone...

I never really gave much thought to the idea of angels living among us until I saw how my Reformation brothers, Bryce, Jayshawn, James, all of them, truly understood what it meant to love like Jesus not just with words, but with actions.  Every time a seizure happened around that class period, I was left feeling like they were the guardian angels sent just to watch over me in a time of need.  And after a day like today, I am humbled almost to the point of tears to see so many people who genuinely love me without any expectations.  That's not something I'm used to - people loving me and giving to me without expecting anything in return, not even a thank you.

But if there's anything I've learned from seeing these young men take me in and love me like family, hospital workers take such interest in the care of patients, and friends as well as acquaintances who become friends step up to keep me moving forward toward Christ, it's that the best way that I can say thank you is by loving others as I have been loved, by doing my best to love like Jesus.  By doing this, I not only honor the gift that these friends have given me in the way that they have loved me, I honor the ultimate love from my Father who was gracious enough to place these people in my life in the first place.

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