Verse of the Day

Monday, June 16, 2014


I have heard it said that if you feel frustrated, it is because you are butting heads with God's will. If that is the case, I am so thankful He is a forgiving and understanding God! I sure need Him today (and everyday). I am frustrated, there is no denying it.

Our family arrived home yesterday, after a very pleasant 8 day impromptu California vacation. As usual, we heaped a bunch of activity into the time--- 2 days at Legoland, 2 days at the beach, and lots of family dinners. For the most part, the time was wonderful. We only had one bike wreck and a sprained ankle to complicate our days. Additionally, the house was nice and clean upon our return, thanks to a very good house sitter. The frustration entered the picture yesterday afternoon.

As other cavernous angioma sufferers know, symptoms come and go with no apparent reason. I was feeling just fine, perhaps a little tired from all of the activity, but really pretty okay. But after I got out of the car, my head just didn't feel right. I attributed the imbalance to fatigue, to the motion of the car, and to dehydration. And truly, perhaps those all contributed to the feeling. Yet, even this morning, I am just "off." A bit dizzy--- not quite disoriented. A very mild headache--- not even bad enough to desire Tylenol. Of course, whenever I don't feel absolutely normal, the thoughts start flying: Have I had another bleed? Am I just tired? Are all these symptoms psychosomatic?

You may say, "Well, why not go to the doctor?" That sounds like an appropriate response, but in reality it is not practical. Twice in the past, I have called the doctor, complaining of symptoms such as the symptoms I'm having. And twice, the doctor gave me an MRI. And twice, that MRI was clear: no sign of a new bleed. In hindsight, I understand that steroid-tapering can cause an increase of neurological symptoms. I am still on Prednisone, so steroids still may be an issue. Sigh. Even my physician husband basically told me to ignore my symptoms--- that the brainstem is dynamic-- and that symptoms will change day-to-day.

To those worriers out there, I do have a follow-up appointment in a month. Unless I have an obvious or "major health challenge" that would prompt me go to the hospital, a month is about a quick as a patient can even get in to see a neurologist. It is crazy.

And therein lies the frustration of having cavernous angiomas. Symptoms change--- sometimes daily... sometimes hourly. You never know when to call the doctor or go to the doctor. Sometimes your numbness and weakness is not a huge issue. And then there are times that the symptoms dampen your spirit and douse your enthusiasm for living. Sometimes it is difficult to remain focused and optimistic; it might be easier to just go back to bed and hopefully wake up feeling better.

Bible verse memorization was never a real strength of mine, but early on I did manage to memorize Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV):
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
 in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

Fighting this disease it not a matter of choosing optimism; it is more a matter of surrendering yourself to God and trusting that He will allow you to experience life as He desires. I don't claim to understand much of life right now, but I do know that if I continue to submit my frustrations to Him, He will direct my path. He will show me what I need to do, and He will lift my spirits. I am in a battle, or sorts. Much of the battle is in my mind--- my thoughts and symptoms are my foes. I depend upon you, Oh Lord, to lift my head!

Psalm 3

A psalm of David. When he fled from his son Absalom.

Lord, how many are my foes!
    How many rise up against me!
Many are saying of me,
    “God will not deliver him.[b]
But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
    my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
I call out to the Lord,
    and he answers me from his holy mountain.
I lie down and sleep;
    I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
I will not fear though tens of thousands
    assail me on every side.
Arise, Lord!
    Deliver me, my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
    break the teeth of the wicked.
From the Lord comes deliverance.
    May your blessing be on your people.

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