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Friday, August 16, 2013

Getting off the Guilt Trip Train

     Since I had some time off, I have spent a lot of time doing some self-reflecting. Something I have always hated is GUILT TRIPS. They are the worst kind of trip. My whole life, I have been put on guilt trips or people try to make me feel guilty. I have also been the engineer of a few guilt trips myself. I have quit cold-turkey, I don't want someone to do something for me out of guilt and I don't want to do stuff for others out of guilt. I want to do it out of joy, necessity, desire, etc.. I put Paul on the most guilt trips. I try to get him to feel bad enough to do something I want. Well, I used to, like three weeks ago. I have found that he does more of what I need out of his own desire. I also do not want to let myself get stuck doing stuff I don't want to do out of guilt. I am tired of it. I want to live in such a way that if I miss the dinner, you know the one, "it could be his last birthday dinner," that I can live with myself knowing that every day of my life I treated that person wonderful and it didn't come down to one last meal. How morbid anyways. I don't want to do what I have always done for holiday out of guilt. Here is a news flash, the guilt ruins the experience and leads to resentment. So, if you are guilty of putting people on guilt trips, then you need to stop. You can do it, and if you revert back to your old ways, you can keep trying to stop this behavior.
     My second flaw is, I can't believe I am going to admit this, but sometimes I am a bit of a control freak. I feel like a load was just lifted off of my shoulders in that last sentence. I mean, does it really matter in the grand scheme of things if one dish is not placed correctly in the dish washer, or if the towels aren't turned the right way in the cabinet? I should be thankful that someone helped me out and put the dirty dishes in the washer or put my stuff away. Being controlling leads to me doing everything by myself because I won't let anyone do it because they might not do it my way. How dare them? When I think about all the stuff I have obsessed about like the shower curtain, dirty clothes piles, the way someone washes their hands, etc.. it makes me feel silly. NONE of this crap matters to Jesus. He is not going to ask Paul why he never closes the shower curtain. All these little things I want to control take my focus off of Christ, and that is why I am doing better. I am recognizing what are the small things and letting them go. I am learning to trust, especially when it comes to trusting my medical team. They do know more than me and I have to trust them to care for me.
     I guess you can see that I am a work in progress, but the progress is the keyword. I don't want to regress. I want to be the type of person that my son is proud of and I want to be pleasing in the sight of the Lord.

Just a Drop

     I guess I need to update everyone with what the heck was/is going on with me. Back at the end of Feb/ beginning of March, I had my yearly CT scan, MRI, x-rays, etc.. They saw "something" in my left lower lung. They decided to "watch it" for three months, and of course, I did question waiting so long, but they thought it was just an infection and my lungs would be clear in three months. I am great at being optimistic, so I went on with life. I had absolutely NO symptoms, no fever, no cough, no fatigue, no headaches, nothing! I used to be able to do testing like MRIs with little or no anxiety, but ever since receiving a diagnosis of cancer after an MRI, I always start stressing out a little. It doesn't help that I always seem to get the MRI guy that yells, "Quit breathing," when he needs me to exhale and hold my breath. In my head I am telling this guy, " Hello, I have done everything in my power to keep breathing, so I am not going to stop breathing buddy!" Anyways, the "infection" in my lungs had spread to both lungs and all over the lower lobes. I was scheduled to see a Pulmonologist, then he scheduled me for a bronchoscope. I feel like I could train patients for what to expect for nearly every medical test in the world! After the bronchoscope,my Dr called to let me know I had a fungus among us, it is called Aspergillus, and it comes from the soil/dirt. I would need to see an Infectious Disease Dr and start taking oral medication. OK, I can handle that. That was Wednesday morning, and I was at work with the best people ever. Fast forward a few hours, Wednesday afternoon, the ID Dr. calls me himself (automatically knew it was bad), he tells me I need to come and be admitted immediately to the hospital. He has a super strong accent, so I either missed some important information, or he forgot to tell me.  I finish my shift because nurses just can't abandon their patients. My co-workers hustled to help me out so I could get out a little early. I get to the hospital, I have to go through the ER, where they make me wear a mask and I am being admitted and will have a STAT MRI of the brain! Umm, Hello?? Can someone come tell my why I need a stat MRI of my brain? I had the absolute best nurse ever that looked at all my results and I had a second fungus in my lungs:( The doctors are stumped as to how I could also have Cryptococcus in my lungs, which is from pigeon droppings. At this point, I start wishing I lived in a bubble. And, here is the kicker, they think since this has been in my lungs since FEB, it it probably in my brain and spinal fluid! Yes, when all 8 doctors came into my room the following morning, I asked if next time something shows up on my CT scan or MRI if we were just going to watch it again. They all said no, we will not do this again. Ok, thank you very much.
     Then, they told me I would need a Lumber Puncture. I know this makes me sound like a baby, but I was dreading this. Of course, my wonderful cousin Karen was with me all day and she made it better. It did hurt, but I think I have built up some tolerance to pain. I didn't know this, but I was about to be tested in the area of pain. They told me I would start my IV medication on Thursday, and if all went okay, then I would get a PICC line and go home with this IV medication. The day nurse pre-medicated me several hours before the night nurse gave me the dreaded AmphotericinB. I had a dose of Tylenol and Benadryl. A little after 9:00 that night, the nurse started the medication. My sister was staying with me. Literally seconds after it started infusing, I sat up and I knew something was wrong. I was super hot, my heart starting racing, and then it felt like someone was sitting on my chest. It was immense pain, worse than any other pain I have experienced. I started having convulsions, shivering, and my neck started swelling. I literally thought, this was it, I honestly believed I was dying. This was scarier to me than those few seconds right before they put me to sleep for my transplant. All my vital signs went crazy high, and they called the Rapid Response Team to my room. The nurse had stopped the medication less than a minute before it was started. I only received drops of this liquid that made me feel so terrible, hence it's nickname Amphoterrible. During this crazy time, I locked eyes with my sister and I simply started talking to Jesus. I was begging Him not to take me now. I wanted to live, live the way He wants me to. I have so much more I want to accomplish yet. After I felt better and all the people left my room, my sister and I hugged for quite awhile. I love her so much. She called Paul and my mom after all this happened and I assured them I was okay.
     All of this made me start thinking about how a few drops of a medication could make me feel such immense pain in matters of seconds, that it could affect my heart and make me feel something I had never experienced before. It hit me, just a little of bitterness, hatred, jealousy, all of those could damage my heart and walk with Christ. I have let a few things that hurt my feelings make me become bitter and mean to a few people. This has only hurt me and my walk with my Savior! I would no longer let this continue. I am/have changed. I have simply let it go, I don't need an apology. People will have to answer for their own actions, they will be judged by the most high, not me. I am not going to let any one's actions lead me astray and put hate in my heart. I could be at fault and misread their intentions. I am not perfect either, and that means I can do better, I can be better. I am not even going to talk about it with these people, I am just going to prove it with my actions. I want to be full of love, the love of Christ. Look at how blessed I have been in my life, I am alive because of Jesus!  I want to keep getting better spiritually! Don't let anything or anyone poison your heart, it only hurts you more. I am tearing down the walls I have built-up around my heart. I want to have all my heart available for Jesus to fill me with more joy than I can handle!
     Okay, so they switched me to three different medications to kill the fungus, but it will take a while. I will be on one of them for 9-12 months, and at first they made me sick as a dog, but the headaches, and vomiting has subsided. I am still nauseated, but it is livable nausea. I returned to work yesterday, but was called today and told I couldn't work because something was now growing on my spinal fluid cultures. So, I am scheduled to have another Lumbar Puncture because my doctor thinks it is an error because I have no symptoms of what is growing. I had a small pity party about having to endure another Lumbar Puncture, but I quickly focused my attention back onto Christ. I remember watching The Passion of Christ and hearing the sounds of Jesus being beat and crucified. I had to leave the theater, I couldn't watch one more second of the torture. Jesus never sinned, He didn't deserve it. I have sinned, I can handle this. I can because I have Jesus. I often wonder how people that do not know Jesus live, how do they survive? I hope you know Him like I do, if you don't, I would be more than happy to tell you all about my loving God.