Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Yuck Flowing Through My Heart

I was just beginning to get over having the flu ... the H1N1 flu ... when suddenly I was the sickest I have ever been in my life.  I had chemical meningitis 20 or more times while I was getting IVIG treatments, but this was far worse.  My fever was just over 105.  My body ached something awful.  Nathan and I got into a huge argument because he wouldn't let me take any more ibuprofen.  I had already taken beyond my quota, and he was trying to keep me from overdosing.  I just wanted the body aches to stop, and kept thinking, "If I just take a couple of more that'll do the trick."  I yelled, well probably more like screamed, at Nathan when he told me I couldn't have any more.

Needless to say, it wasn't one of my finest moments.

When Darryl discovered how sick I was, he sent me to the ER for a chest x-ray and to have some lab work done.  I could barely hold my head up, so in order to sit up on the gurney Nathan had to raise the head of it up for me to lean against.  The nurse practitioner informed me my fever had gone down to right at 101, and my chest x-ray was clear.

"I'm not saying there isn't anything wrong with you, but you don't look sick to me.", the nurse practitioner had the audacity to say to me!

I didn't look sick to her, therefore I must not be.

Before the rooster crowed the next morning, my phone rang.  It was someone from the ER calling to let me know I needed to come back in immediately.  I refused to go back after the way I had been treated the day before.  She told me how sorry she was that had happened, and if I would come back in she would personally take care of me.  She explained the preliminary results of my blood work had come back, and I had an infection that needed to be treated.  I still refused to go, and when she told me it was extremely important for me to be seen, I told her I would just go see Dr. Richards.

Over the next half hour there were telephone calls going back and forth between myself, Darryl and the hospital.  A lot of that is fuzzy in my mind, but I clearly remember my phone conversation with Darryl.

"Robin, you are going to the hospital to be directly admitted through the ER."

No one had mentioned a hospital admission to me.  I hate being in the hospital, so I begged him to just let homehealth give me the IV meds.  They were already scheduled for a visit that day.

In a tone of voice I've never heard before, he said, "Robin, if you don't go to the hospital you are going to be dead in 2 days."

So, I went.

When I got there they immediately took me back in the ER and within about 2 minutes the room was full of doctors, nurses, lab techs and representative from the company the nurse practitioner from the day before worked for.

You know, the one who said I didn't look sick to her.

I was septic, and they couldn't identify the strain of infection I had because it kept growing.  Every antibiotic they gave me I had an allergic reaction to, so they were scrambling to find something that hopefully the infection wouldn't be resistant to.  It took 4 days for the infection to stop growing, and by the grace of God, the antibiotic they finally settled on giving me began to work.

My perm-a-cath site was infected and since it's a direct source to the blood supply, it had caused me to become septic.  When they took the dressing off of my perm-a-cath site, it hurt so much I screamed.  It was red and puss was oozing out of it.

The blood that was flowing through my heart was infected, but on the outside of my dressing ... on the outside of my body ... I didn't look sick.  My skin and the dressing covering my cath site were hiding the yucky stuff in my body.

Just like the smile on face hides the yucky stuff in my heart today.  It covers up how much my heart really hurts.

At the beginning of worship service this past Sunday, my friend John began to play, "Wonderful, Merciful Savior".

It felt like someone had ripped off the dressing that was hiding the pain in my heart and the tears began to flow.

My friend Robyn sang this song at my Mama's funeral.  Until Sunday I hadn't heard it since that day.

As I flipped through the bulletin I noticed that we were going to be singing that song.  I was sick.  I pointed at it, and Nathan just put his arm around me.

In that moment, Nathan said a thousand words to me.

I got through the first verse, but once the chorus started I had to bolt.  As fast I as could go, I left the sanctuary and headed to the bathroom.

Thank you, Jesus, no one was in there, and no one came in while I was in there.

I fell against the wall and cried so hard my stomach is still sore.

Lord, I want my Mama back.

Just before going into the sanctuary before worship service began,  I had 3 people tell me how I looked like I was doing so much better.  I just smiled and said thank you, and then thought, "You have no idea", as they walked away.

They couldn't see into my heart.  They couldn't see the pain is still there and it grows with each passing day.

I came out of the bathroom with every intention of having someone go get Nathan so we could leave, but when I peeked in the sanctuary, he and Hannah were on stage with the mission team they had just returned from Joplin, MO with, and they were telling about what they had experienced during the past week.

Still, I wanted to leave.

But the Holy Spirit showed me I needed to be at the hospital.  The only hospital that will ever clear the yuck out of my heart.  So with blood shot eyes and a nose as red as a tomato, I went back in and sat down.  It wasn't easy.  I truly wanted leave, but the Lord had a different plan.

Today is Wednesday.  The very dreaded day of the week.  A day I'd rather spend with people I love and who love me right back.  But today, God had a different plan and I'm home alone.  It's 12:30 and the first thought that comes to mind is, "Mama will be calling in a little bit."

She won't be though.

She now been gone for 17 weeks, and it still hurts like no other pain I've ever felt in my life.  Sure I smile and laugh.  I can even have a great time with friends and family.  I can look at my Mama's picture and smile as the thought that passes through my mind says, "I love you, Mama".

But it still hurts.  And I miss her more and more every day.  The pain continues the grow in my heart, but God's grace and mercy keep me putting one foot in front of the other.  His grace and mercy allows me to truly enjoy time with family and friends.

I long for Heaven, and my prayer every day remains, "Come quickly, Lord Jesus.  I beg You to come today".

But while His plan is for me to wait, His love ... only His love ... cleanses the yucky stuff in my heart.  I never have to be concerned about overdosing on His love, mercy and goodness.


  1. If you hadn't stayed, I wouldn't have gotten to talk with you afterwards, and you wouldn't have been able to encourage me...Thank you!