Keep on

First of all let me say thank you to all my “sisters” who have lately been so encouraging. I really truly believe that God is answering my prayers through you guys! If ever you feel God nudging at your heart to text a friend, message them or stop by their house to say “Hi”, please do it! 🙂 It very well might take that friend’s love tank from 0 to 100 just by your words. This is what many of you have done for me.

Here is my attempt of giving a synopsis of the last couple of weeks. . .  In my life right now, days are so different from one day to the next. Today has been good. I woke up with a peace and a joy about things today. I showered, fed and laughed with my daughter and took off towards the hospital. The roads were at times slightly dangerous and when I went sliding on the backroads, I laughed at the adventure of everything. I grabbed a coffee and a lunch at Horrocks and was on my way. Chris was feeling pretty decent when I got in and was getting a blood transfusion. He informed me that his hemoglobin was low- 6.7 down from 8.4 the night before. I knew it, he was bleeding internally. Right away I liked his nurse. She has one of those contagious personalities, hard not to like. Despite it being Saturday he got started right away on having a parensentesis done to take out all the fluid in his abdomen (This was mostly blood of course). Afterwards, Chris felt pretty good with the 6 1/2 lbs (3 liters) of blood out of his belly. Can you imagine, a 2 liter plus another half of one, sitting on your gut, no wonder he’s uncomfortable and doesn’t want to eat. Then he went down to do a tagged rbc scan to find where he was bleeding. During this Chris had to lay still for an hour. In the meantime, his nurse, procedure tech and I told stories about our kids and shared pictures. It was like the girls night I missed out on the night before only with nurses I had just met.

Yesterday was a very different story, not a good day to say the least. Chris had a pretty difficult night from Thursday to Friday. Thursday he had 2 blood transfusions and Friday he felt horrible which is very weird considering that blood usually makes you feel better not worse. He puked up some blood and we decided we better go to the ER. We got there at 10:30 a.m. and did not get admitted to a room until 10:00 at night. In those 11.5 hours Chris tried pain medications and nausea meds but could not find any relief. His heart rate continued to climb; 127 . . . 142 . . . 155 . . . 178. He was sitting up but not walking around. The high heart rate was exactly what happened before, I knew what he needed, he needed blood. I talked to the nurse and resident Doctor who came in, I asked if they could check his hemoglobin again but because it was at 8.4 when we came in, it wasn’t a priority. The ER was busy and everything was very slow. It was very emotionally draining for both of us. I would help Chris try and get in a comfortable position, grab his bucket quickly for him to spit into because he was feeling nauseous, and then give him a back rub to help him relax on the padded slab with wheels. I was able to go get some lunch at 2:00 when he was relatively comfortable but the rest of the night I stayed with him. We tried music, we tried going to the bathroom, we tried foot massages, we tried TV, we tried every pain med he was allowed to have, we tried sitting in a chair instead of laying but it wasn’t until 9:00 at night that he finally felt some relief from a beta blocker that was given by a second nurse. Driving home I was exhausted but our marriage, our love for each other grew that night. Chris told me before I left that mentally he could not have survived that night without me. I prayed for peace and comfort for the both of us, I prayed for patience and wisdom. I prayed for strength and God answered.

This has been a good feel of really the last couple of weeks.  Good days and hard days. Days of hope and days of pain. I have realized that my biggest fear is being alone. The fear of loosing him physically but even more the fear of loosing precious days with him mentally and emotionally. The loneliness can be overwhelming at times, and unfortunately its not something that anyone can fix. The confident, fun, engaging and awesome personality that is my husband is just not there most days. Even on the good days, theres no energy left for him to talk kids, life and us after explaining his condition, symptoms and past treatments to 20 different people. A week and a half ago, when he was in the hospital, I had this realization as he was laying there in the bed, and I was knitting in the chair beside him, that we were like an old married couple who were perfectly content to just sit with each other in silence. This really made me smile. I am being given the chance to grow old with my husband.

Even now I know I will have days of joy, love and laughter, and then “I can’t do this anymore” days. This morning I read 1Peter 4. Verse 19 I read over and over again. “So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you.” This gave me tremendous strength. Its like his voice telling me, “Keep on! I will never fail you. Keep going!” It would be very easy to be bitter or allow someone else besides God to fill the loneliness. Allowing another person or other things to fill the emptiness is in our human nature and it is perfectly reasonably and acceptable according to most of the world. Gabby is an incredible joy I have in my life right now but she is not my everything and she cannot fill what only God can fill. Pray for me as I am looking to God every day to be my source of comfort and strength and meaning.


6 thoughts on “Keep on

  1. Thank you for sharing your story, amazing to hear God speak through you. Your story has touched the lives of many, including me! Thank you for this gift.

  2. Gina, Your words are an inspiration and your testimony is shining. I know the times are hard but God is always good. Continue to seek Him first and He will provide exactly what you need. I wish you were closer so I could come sit with you and talk and cry and just be there but above all else I know that God IS. Trust Him to provide and protect and comfort exactly when you need it, trust Him to fill that void when you just don’t know what is next, trust Him to be the Almighty Father that He wants to be to you. It is hard to understand why God allows these things in the lives of people; I remember questioning the same thing when Josh got sick but God has proved to be so faithful to all His promises and you can bank of that! Continuing to bring you before the throne of grace and laying you all at the feet of Jesus. “He will do immeasurably more than we could ask or think”, and He will. Pass along my love to Chris and give him a hug from us, and also Miss Gabby. Love you guys!

  3. Thank you, Gina for letting into your heart and mind as you travel this very difficult journey. I’m praying for you, Chris, your little one and for all your family. May the God of all comfort give you peace and strength for each day.

  4. How do you do it, Gina? How do you do each day? Your words bring me to tears, every time, just to see the peace you have with where you are. What you say about being able to grow old with your husband… Its so beautiful, and so true. But, the thing is you chose to see it that way. I honestly don’t know what to say, because I don’t feel that I can give you any words of advice or comfort that would be fitting because I’ve never gone through anything you are dealing with. I do know what you mean about fearing not having that best friend emotionally and mentally that only your husband can be. I guess you sort of let God take over that position… All I can say is thank you for being so open and honest, and for your wisdom. You and Chris are incredible people, and you have something so special that many people go through 80 years of life and never find. Stay strong. We are always here, and we love you.

  5. Gina, you are the living example of peace and strength that can only come from God. You are the proof that when God said He’d give us strength through trials, He meant it. Thank you for sharing what God is doing. Your words have helped strengthened my faith. I pray for you and Chris often. Love you.

  6. Gina, You and Chris and an amazing example of what being a Christian is all about. Is there doubts, of course, we are human, but with the Faith that both of you have, and openly express, those doubts are dispelled quickly, as you turn back to Your Father, lean on Him, Trust in Him, Listen to Him, and most importantly try to always Obey Him. Your story is an amazing one of absolute love, and trials. You two have weathered them beautifully. Your countenances are ALWAYS inspiring to any who see you, You are open and loving to each other, and to all around you. I have learned sooooooo much about Jesus, Love and Life by observing the two of you. My prayers are always with you, along with my heart and love.

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