Archive for October, 2014

Faith is a Funny Thing

Anyone who has read this blog much at all knows I am frank and honest about my questions and faith. I’ve explained before that I’ve felt like God broke a major trust. After all, I trusted Him with my children’s safety and He let me down. I’ve rethought my faith, redefined faith and scratched my head a lot. But the funny thing is that just about the time I’m ready to just give it up – something happens. Today it was one of my Chinese students that got me riled up.

He asked me a question about music I think it was, and I mentioned church somewhere. That threw us into a very exciting discussion about religion in general. I learned a few points about Buddhism, and he learned a lot about Christianity. I love these types of thought-provoking discussions. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to argue and try to convince the other party of anything – let’s just think it through.

When I am in my down spots I really battle with depression and being sick of late has not helped at all. I am taking care of Chris but forgot to give myself the same careful attention. Now I’m paying for it and it just makes the load more difficult. It takes me back to trying to figure out where I am with my faith. I know I don’t believe what I used to believe – but what do I believe?

So my student tells me he is not religious at all. He thinks God is just a convenience that we create when we don’t have anywhere else to run. I was rather surprised at some of my emotions as I began the whole creation argument. Needless to say it was a great conversation! And I really enjoyed it!

But it really got me to thinking again about faith and what it really means – better yet – what it means from here. My life is far from “normal” and lacking in many ways. There’s not a “fix” that can make any aspect of it any better. But even during those dark nights of the soul where I feel like He has abandoned me – there’s that thread of hope and faith that has been evident throughout my life that won’t let me just let go. During the times where I am at my lowest and I’m wondering where He went – I still find myself running to Him rather than away. Honestly, sometimes that is very frustrating.

He does not answer every prayer with the answers we want – and I really think He does not answer all of them period. Maybe He just listens. Maybe He wants us to work it all out on our own – I’ve heard that makes us strong – not that I have any particular interest in being considered strong – Personally, I’d really rather have my answer! (smile)

I guess it is always going to come back to  choosing whether or not to trust Him in every situation. Those words can simply roll out of my mouth but in actuality they are much more difficult. Can I trust Him and continue in faith when the furnace gets hotter? What about when I get sick too – the ultimate defeat for the caregiver; can I trust Him then?

My heart stays broken – but with every little piece I will cry I’m gonna figure out how to trust Him.

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All in a Day’s Work

Most of the time I feel like a failure and tonight is no different. Once I got home from the hospital and started to get some sense of normal back in place I realized how far behind I am in pretty much every arena. Since stress is one of my major issues (just like every other caregiver0 I figured I better try not to stress over it all. I’m learning that I can only do what I can do in a day and stressing doesn’t get more done. IN most cases, it keeps me from doing more that’s for sure.

Today was a little bit crazy  for me though. I’m feeling a little better but real draggy and I have sent a note to my doc to see if she can reduce my meds a little bit – it’s a really low dose anyway and I think that I can manage the blood pressure with diet and exercise – something I wasn’t doing before that got me in the bind I found myself in. She still has a referral up for me to see the cardiologist – don’t know why – no one seems to care why I have irregular EKGs or fail stress tests — since I don’t have a blockage in my heart… figure I’m good to go – right?

This trip has been very different for me. First of all, I haven’t had health issues for years – but knowing that I had to be okay because I am taking care of someone else really changed up some of the dynamics. But isn’t that one of the caregiver’s biggest issues – we take care of someone else but not ourselves? Or we only take care of ourselves because we are taking care of another…why can’t we see ourselves as important enough to be taken care of to begin with? Is it that we lose our worth or significance in the person we are taking care of? Probably…but we’ll never admit it!

I am more serious though about taking care of myself. I’m pursuing healthier choices in every area of my life. For one thing I’m following what the doc ordered – that alone is a big one for me. I’m also going to go back to taekwondo starting next week. I think it is very therapeutic and the doc told me to find some things other than running (not to exclude running of course) that would be beneficial for reducing or managing stress. Of course it will take some time and I have to start all over – but I’m going to go for my black belt! It’s still stressful because I’ll be taking Chris with me this time – I can’t afford a sitter twice a week – not that and for races. But I think it will help me regain some discipline in my life. It may also help provide a small bit of a social outlet for me – we’ll see.

As for faith – I don’t know what to say. I can’t not believe in God – but boy does my life make no sense at all. It’s a constant struggle to keep my head above water right now. I hear myself tell others all those things I’ve always said – but doubt how relevant they might be…It can be so easy to get caught up using a lot of cliché’s without thinking through what they really mean – and we can do the same with scriptures. I want to get beyond that – but I’m not sure how….

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Doctor’s Orders

I’m really just trying to make some sort of sense out of the last three weeks. If I’m totally honest, I have to say that I really have not felt well all year long; but as is my usual fashion – I just kept pushing it and moving along. I’d had several signs and symptoms that something was wrong and I was most likely in need of medical attention. I hate going to the doctor – I have no idea why, but I just hate to have to take the time out and go. I also have a pretty poor track record of listening to them so why waste the time, money and effort, right?

Three weeks ago I got busted. My son’s nurse was here checking on him and noticed my severely swollen ankles. A quick blood pressure check revealed that it was at stroke level. I had already found a clinic here in town since I knew a visit was inevitable, so the next morning I made an appointment and went in. Boy did I get chewed out! They worked me over for about 2 hours! I left officially “under a doctor’s care.” And it’s pretty well gone downhill from there!

She told me to stop running, or at least do very little until I could get an EKG and some blood work. My blood work was all normal – nothing at all to worry about. But she also wanted me to do a stress test and she got it set up right away. I failed it. I finished it, but it showed some suspicious activity that could have indicated a blockage. She wanted me to stop running and see a cardiologist…I didn’t make it that far.

Last week, the chest pains intensified (probably just stressed out and worried about it all!) so I figured I would go in to the ER and let them check me, tell me I was okay and then I’d come back home. Oh, if it had only been that easy. Since I failed the stress test and the EKG they took as soon as I walked in the door was “abnormal” they admitted me. That afternoon, they did their nuclear stress test – which I promptly failed. I didn’t even make but 6 minutes on the treadmill and my blood pressure went so high I thought I was stroking out! So- they sent me for a heart cath — which showed absolutely NO blockages – talk about a huge waste of time~~! Not totally since I know there’s no reason to worry.

I learned a whole lot though. My daughter stepped right up and took over my son’s care – as well as mine! She wouldn’t let anyone bring me my computer – kept saying I needed to rest or some sort of craziness! lol They didn’t let me sleep much since they checked on me all the time, but I had some time to think. More on that later…

During my follow-up on Tuesday my doc (really a nurse practitioner) was talking to me about coping with stress. I still can’t run for awhile as I have to get used  to the meds. She recommended that I get back to this blog as a way to get my emotions out – so that’s why I’m blogging. I went in with the full intention of doing what I was told – seriously!

All of that  is to say I really don’t know what to say. I feel like every area of my life is broken and I am a failure. I’m behind on work and school and housework horribly and I don’t feel well enough yet to tackle it all. I’m not even sure where to begin or what to work on first. I’m sure I’ll figure it out.

So where am I with God? And faith? I honestly have no idea. I wish I could share some great testimony about how I’ve been able to hold on to faith and God miraculously throughout the storm, but I can’t. I do not blame Him for everything being broken – but I certainly don’t feel Him. My head says He’s still here – He still cares – but my heart just wonders why.

Doc asked me if I ever feel helpless. I answered honestly, “everyday.”

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