WORRY AND ANXIETY

I am usually a pretty laid back kind of gal. I don’t sweat the small stuff and pretty much everything is small stuff. However, I am having vocal cord surgery on the 12th of October and I must be honest. I am now the owner of worry and anxiety.

It shows up mostly in the mornings when I am laying in bed. I start thinking about the surgery.  My right vocal cord is paralyzed and so they have to open up my airway and inject a filler substance into my vocal cord.

No biggie, right?

Yeah, well you have the pathway to your lungs being messed with and see if you don’t freak out too.

My concern is not so much the actual surgery but my bodies response to the filler. I am highly allergic to most medications. My allergy list exceeds ten different medications and it is growing daily.

So, what may be a walk in the park for most people, may be a life threatening situation for me. If the filler causes my right vocal cord to swell too much then I have lost my airway. Kind of scary…

Now, I am all good with passing on. I don’t really think that this life is in any way better than a life with God in heaven but I have not finished my novel. I truly believe that is the main purpose for me being alive and I am very goal driven. The thought of not fulfilling my purpose for God is the most horrid thought.

So, all of these crazy thoughts were going through my mind the other day, when an unusual event occurred.

I was sitting at my desk, in my bedroom, and I kept feeling God nudge me.

I pushed Him aside, as if he was a love starved cat. He kept nudging me to look at the Bible verse calendar on my desk. I have three different ones and then another one on my wall but most days I don’t pay them much attention.

The Holy Spirit kept pestering me until I finally picked one of those desk calendars up and started leafing through it until my eyes found the one for October 7.

“I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefor my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body will also rest secure.” Psalm 16:8-9

I think I heard God sigh when I found that verse. I was so excited. To have a verse which I can claim over my body when going into surgery is just beyond belief the greatest assurance that He is in control.

In addition to this, I have so very many people who have said that they will pray for me. One sweet lady in my church even put it on her phone calendar. I can not tell you how thankful I am for all  of those prayers.

If you would like to pray for me I would welcome your prayers also.

I intend to blog a lot after the surgery because I have five days where I am not supposed to speak even one word. Kind of stoked about that too because it will give me time to write.

I am hoping I can talk normally after the surgery and I have always asked God to work on my singing voice because I am so off tune I could crack glass.

Who knows? Maybe I will not only be able to talk again but have a voice which is pleasing to the ears when I sing. Hoping, hoping. hoping….

A NEW CHURCH

I have gone to a mega church on and off for the past few years. I actually don’t think that mega churches are biblical. I think when you reach a certain stage in church growth you should split off and start a new church.

It wasn’t that the pastor wasn’t good. He was amazing.

It wasn’t that he didn’t use the Bible as his source for preaching. He consistently stuck to the Bible as a foundation for his sermons.

It was that I missed the intimacy that I need from a church.  No one knew me. They didn’t care about whether I went or not. I could stay home and watch the sermon from my bedroom and no one would even know I hadn’t attended that Sunday.

So, when my friend, Erin, mentioned the church she was going to, I decided to attend.

I liked it a lot at first. The pastor was Bible based in his preaching. He throws out awesome quotes like candy at a parade. I take notes like crazy because I don’t want to miss one nugget of wisdom.

The pastor’s wife is amazing also. She is so sweet and her eyes sparkle with the joy of the Lord when she sees me.

But I didn’t know if I really wanted to get involved. I mean that would be a whole nother step you know?

But at least I could attend the Vision class. I felt it was always good to know the mission statement of the church and all of that kind of stuff.

So I attended. Lord, I not only attended, I also volunteered. I signed up for the coffee team, the prayer team and the meal chain.

What on earth had happened to me? I had always been fairly good at not getting too involved in things.

Lord almighty, it seemed like I dove in the deep end of the pool with no life jacket.

The first Sunday I was supposed to help set up the coffee table was the same day as the Celebration of Life service for my dear friend who passed away. I figured I could say “No, sorry. I have that afternoon reserved. (Yes, I know church is in the morning)

The problem with that is that my friend who died would have probably shot down from heaven and slapped me across the face with a good dose of reality. Of all my friends she was the one who always was offering to help others. She would be pleased as punch if I was helping my church on the same day I went to honor her.

However, I did show up late and the coffee table was already set up. However, Erin was nice enough to show me the ropes for next time.

Next time came soon. It was yesterday and I got some wonderful instruction as to how to set up the coffee table. We have to set up and take down because we are currently meeting in a warehouse. So I set up, then we had the service and after the service I took it down with some help from others.

As soon as  my coffee table put away. I looked around for other things to do. I spotted a little boy who had caught my eye earlier.

His Dad was busy putting the sound equipment away and his mother was working.I was a bit worried that he would get hurt running around.  So, I scooped him up and sat on a chair so that he would be out-of-the-way. He was such a little sweetheart. I made sure that we were within eyesight of his Dad so that the little chap wouldn’t be scared.

His Dad thanked me profusely, as I gave the precious child back to him. . My goodness, I felt like thanking the Dad because it is not often that I get to hold such a sweet child in my arms.

As I left church yesterday morning, I left with a grateful heart.

So thankful that I can worship in this great country according to the belief system I have chosen. Grateful that I have found a small, Bible based church. In addition, I have found a joy in serving that I didn’t even know was there.

I have reflected on this church many times since I first attended and it always brings a smile to my lips. I realize that I liked it a lot at first but it is more than that now.  I am beginning to love this body of Christ as I believe Christ would yearn for me to.

WORKING ON A SABBATH

I had agreed to work on Saturday but I really wanted to be off on the Sabbath. I had to help out at church and go to a Celebration of Life service for my best friend. It was only one appointment and the patient was one of my favorites but I really didn’t want to work on the Sabbath.  I had made this very clear to my scheduler. There should have been no confusion.

I opened up my schedule on Friday night and there she was, scheduled for that Sunday. The very day I had asked off. I was enraged. I threw off the cloak of righteousness that Christ has given me and rummaged through my closet for my Diva robe. I put on my Diva robe and tied the sash tight. I was going to give that scheduler a piece of my mind.

The only problem is…

I can only whisper due to my vocal cord problem. It is very difficult to get enraged when you do it at a fraction of the decibel that most rage entails.

So, I went to sleep instead.

On Saturday I was going out the door to see my patient when I felt a tug on my Diva robe. That tug was the Holy Spirit. Then the Holy Spirit brought to mind James 1:20, which is one of the verses I have hidden in my heart.

The thoughts in my mind proceeded to tear at the sash of my Diva robe.

“It wouldn’t kill you to do that visit tomorrow. You know the scheduler has had added responsibilities put on her plate. She not only works during the week but takes call every single day so that you don’t have to. She is also taking care of her mother who is very sick. Furthermore, this is the only company that has ever given you weekends off. So, what is the big deal?”

I felt the Diva robe slipping from my shoulders and landing in a puddle at my feet. “Ok, I will call her and tell her I can do it.”

I called her and told her that I noticed that that visit was still on my schedule for Sunday. She started making excuses. I told her that was ok, I would do the visit. I would just have to do it in the evening when I was done with the memorial service for my friend. She was so grateful. As I was doing so, I could feel the robe of righteousness covering my shoulders with grace.

James 1:20 “For the anger of man does not produce the righteousness which God so desires.”

A WHISPER

I have had a difficulty with my voice for over a year now. Since I have a paralyzed right vocal cord there is too much air escaping when I try to talk. All I can do currently is whisper.

This is quite the predicament to be in when you work with the elderly. Most of them have lost quite a bit of their hearing. When they tell me to speak up it is impossible for me to do.

Yet my company still keeps me employed and the dear old folks I go to visit suffer my weakness with great kindness. Somehow I always get through each day even though my voice does present a challenge.

As I continue to struggle with this I have sought God to see what I am supposed to learn from this trial.

Within the past month I think I have found my answer. In James 1:19, God says, “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.”

Who says God doesn’t have a sense of humor?

I have found that when all I can do is whisper I measure my words very carefully. lol

THE BACK STORY

Usually I write inspiring posts for this blog but sometimes feel as if I need to lay a foundation for a post. This piece is kind of the back story for the post I will release tomorrow. So, as the story goes…

Last year I got a horrible sinus infection while coming back from my parents place on an airplane. I responded to it as I respond to most health problems. I ignored it.

It kept getting worse. I happened upon a patient who had become disabled when a sinus infection had transposed the blood brain barrier. This poor man had suffered several strokes as a consequence of his sinus infection and was now bed bound. I was starting to get headaches which I NEVER get and after seeing this man I made an appointment with my doctor.

I was prescribed LEVAQUIN which knocked out my sinus infection but also took my voice. Instead of going to my doctor and demanding a blood test to check to see if I had infection, I did what any other nurse who is well connected does. I called a friend of mine who was a doctor and asked him to throw some more antibiotics my way. He is a good friend and did just that.

My throat was in such agony I could barely swallow for three to five months. I finally went to the ER and had them do some testing on me and they said I did not have an infection.

My next step was to go to an ENT doctor who told me that I had a paralyzed vocal cord and he needed to “beef” it up. He couldn’t tell me what “beefing” it up meant, nor would he say that “beefing” it up would give me back my voice.  At times I could talk almost as if I had never had a problem but most of the time I just whispered. So I didn’t go for the surgery.

Then my voice got much worse and all I could do was whisper.

This year I decided to try a different ENT. I told her straight off that I needed more information about the procedure if I was going to do it. She explained that my left vocal cord was enlarged and my right vocal cord was paralyzed. Apparently the two must touch each other to make sound. My right vocal cord had atrophied to the extent that my left could not meet it.

She was even sweet enough to send me to a speech therapist who actually showed me pictures of my vocal cords.

Then she explained that “beefing” up was injecting a filler such as collagen, or hyaluronic acid into the right vocal cord to build it up. Then the left could actually touch it when trying to make sound. (Kind of reminds me of some kind of sick romantic story.)

With all of this information I could make an informed consent on my surgery and that is now scheduled for October 12th. For those of you who feel led to pray for me I would greatly appreciate this. There are dangers associated with this surgery; such as bleeding, or too much filler, which could lead to my airway closing up. So prayers are needed.

I do believe that God is in control and if you are so kind as to read my post tomorrow you may understand what I have learned from this trial. (wink, wink)