Thursday, July 16, 2009

Learning to Trust

Shortly after Audrey was born, I was diagnosed with a rare blood-clotting disorder called Factor V Leiden. This is a genetic disorder, and most people who have it are heterozygous, meaning that one of their parents has FVL and has passed on a mutated gene. Being the overachiever that I am, BOTH of my parents have FVL and I have inherited the mutated gene from each of them (homozygous). Without scaring myself all over again, I'll just say that I'm at high risk (I think I read 30-140 fold) for several dangerous possibilities, including blood clots, stroke, and heart-attack. All three of my children will be heterozygous for Factor V.

Back in mid-May, Kevin and I went to see the new Henderson baby. On the way home my arm went numb and I felt close to passing out; I felt as if I couldn't breathe. We headed straight for the nearest emergency room and hung out there for lots of tests and monitoring. A few hours later we were sent home with no answers and a hefty bill. I followed up with my general practitioner's office and was made to feel that I had experienced a panic attack, which would be very strange, considering that I was on a date with my husband when this happened! I almost believed this diagnosis until I was telling my dad about it. He kept nodding and finally said that he'd had that happen two or three times. "One time I was getting some tea out of the refrigerator and woke up on the floor in a puddle of tea!" Of course, he didn't TELL anyone - crazy man! My mom has also had a TIA and said the symptoms were very similar.

Fast forward to last night, when Kevin and I were headed to bed. I had almost forgotten about the ER trip, other than the fact that the bill is on my cork board so I can remember to pay them something. The fingertips on my left hand had felt like they were asleep for a few hours, but I thought it might be from playing bass a bit earlier. We were in bed, chatting about this and that (okay, okay, I was chatting and Kevin was saying "uh huh" and probably hoping I would hush so he could sleep) when it hit me again.

As we both lay there, alternately praying out loud, I couldn't help but be afraid. What if something really happens? My family needs me. I want to live to see my grandchildren. I fought for some time to keep calm, breathe, and not think about the possibilities.

Sometime in the night a major storm rolled through. The lightening was so awesome that it kept our room lit almost constantly. Somewhere in that loud thunder I felt that God was rebuking me.

Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: "Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding." ~ Job 38:1-4

Does God need me? Can I add anything to His purpose? If it is His will for me to suffer, or even to die, will He not still do all that He sovereignly decrees? I have seen in the lives of dear brothers and sisters that God does, indeed, work through tragedy. I have seen His provision for those who have lost much. How small my faith must be to know these things, to see His work, and to still doubt. If Christ is all I need, why do I grasp at control? Why do I cling to loved ones here on earth as if they are all that matters? They are a wonderful gift from God, but they belong to Him. He can do with them as He pleases, and whatever He pleases to do will be for my good and His glory.

I do believe this. God, help my unbelief! I trust in you and ask You for peace in the storm. I answer You with the words of Job:

Then Job answered the LORD and said: "I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. 'Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?' Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. 'Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.' I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes." ~ Job 42:1-6


Michelle Howard said...

Are you taking a baby aspirin a day? Vitamin E lubricates blood cells and also helps prevent fibrocystic breast disease and breast cancer. Want me to research what else?

Jenny said...

I do take a multi with Vitamin E, but not the baby aspirin....yet. I have an appointment first thing Monday. They are giving me the once-over - fasting blood sugar, EKG, etc. I plan to be very insistent. I just need to know IF I should go to the hospital IF that happens again! The breathing part may have been panic, since I was able to keep calm this time and didn't have that issue. I suppose it's understandable to freak out a bit if you think you are throwing clots! LOL! Love you!