Finding peace & comfort in times of turmoil
Twilight was going to post this morning, so I got the computer turned on for her- but instead, she saw her favorite spot next to the laptop and decided to take it back from Sushi. Now she’s snoozing- so I’ll take it from here, and let her nap since she was out all night being a wild child.
I’ve been up since 5:00 this morning, and I don’t have the little Critters today- but I stayed up anyway because I have had a difficult time lately finding a chance to just be still for a bit and take some much needed time in prayer and God’s Word.
I have sensed Him reaching out to me over these last couple of weeks more and more. But life -(and responsibilities)- have a way of draining us of our energy- and (as you have no doubt noticed)- any form of creativity.
I haven’t said anything about things that have been happening- but my sister- (who happens to also be my neighbor)- kept having attacks that looked and felt like a massive heart attack was building up. So I have spent the last two weeks trying as much as possible to make myself available to her, staying with her when they happened, taking her vitals, calming her down, and caring for her.
At first she wouldn’t let me call 9-1-1 because she was sure the pain and shortness of breath was coming from a pulled muscle in the back of her neck.
I didn’t agree. I can’t say much about the details, but her symptoms were bad enough that I was afraid of what I may find when I went to check on her in the couple of days that followed.
The attacks happened suddenly and when she was relaxed. Complete with pain in her arm, etc. She would call in the middle of the night and say “It’s happening again”- And I’d rush over in my pajamas and do everything in my power to calm and reassure her while urging her to get checked.
After about 2 days she finally agreed (after it happened two days in a row)- to go to Urgent Care. She went to urgent care, and they sent her to ER.
That led to an 8 hour languishing in the waiting room of the hospital, where she sat in pain, one of a countless multitude of other people waiting for care- and some even laying in the floor sick in the ER. The doctors and nurses did the best they could- but they didn’t have enough staff. She was supposed to be there for an ekg (which after being done twice, was said to be normal)- and for two blood tests which had to be taken an hour apart.
They did the first blood test, and said they’d be back in an hour to do the second one. All this time, she was still in the waiting room. Three hours later they came back for the other blood test.
Several times she and her daughter told them she was in pain (from sitting so long)- and she needed to go home but they wouldn’t let her leave. Finally at 11 pm she said, “I’m going. I can’t do this anymore.”
She went back home, exhausted and in (more) pain- though she wasn’t having pain in her chest or shortness of breath anymore)- and the next day it happened again. She started her morning feeling finally rested (when she woke up around noon)- and within 45 minutes it happened again. Again she called me, and the hospital had not told her the results of her blood tests, but they had said it looked like she might have heart damage.
I prayed with her after doing everything I could to make her comfortable and help her calm down. The incident passed quickly- but 30 minutes later, It started again, and this time, I told her she couldn’t play with this and I needed to call 9-1-1. She finally agreed.
While I was still on the phone with the dispatcher, my sister suddenly said- “The pain is gone!” She was no longer clutching her chest, or holding her arm- and was completely calm. I told the dispatcher, and she had me ask if My sister still wanted them to come (they had already left).
They came (6 emts)- and checked her out and did an ekg and it was normal! They said if she wanted to go to ER, they would take her in, but they assured her that her heart was okay. And, they made a point of telling her that the “ER is not the place you want to be right now.” No kidding. She had been there for 8 hours the day before.
A couple of hours later, the ER staff from the day before called her back and said they needed her to come back to ER because they had to re-do the two blood tests. She refused. But the vascular surgeon’s office called her to set up a test for her heart. So the next morning she checked in to the hospital (not ER) for that and had a stress test, and another test that let them check her heart valves. Fortunately, that experience was completely different. She was immediately taken to a room with a tv and was given every imaginable comfort. The proceedure went smoothly and a few hours later, she went home.
Then finally, (two days later and after a visit with her regular doctor)- she was told all her heart tests were within normal range and she wasn’t having a heart attack.
However, clearly certain enzymes were elevated, and her blood pressure was high- so her doctor asked if anything had happened lately. That’s when she told him that a couple of months ago she lost her brother in a fire. Then the doctor understood what had happened.
She has not been able to get grief counseling, and the full effect of his loss is beginning to become more real to her now. She is now feeling relieved at least knowing that if the pain starts again, she’s not having a heart attack- and now I can relax and not be afraid to check on her anymore – But she is in pain of a much different kind.
It has now been 9 months since my husband passed from stage 4 cancer- and I thought I was doing okay- until the last couple of weeks. Suddenly for me, the reality of his permanent exit is beginning to dawn- when holidays come and go- and what would be his birthday is next month- and our daughter’s birthday is a week before his- so there is a shadow of death hanging over the next few months with birthdays, Thanksgiving, and Christmas approaching.
But for my sister (and for countless others that I don’t know)- there is a much more recent wound- and though we put a smile on our face, and stay busy and “life goes on,” there is still the shadow lurking always in the back of our minds.
Hear me- Whether you know anyone who has recently lost someone or not, Please be kind and compassionate toward those around you. Life is short – and especially now in this time of upheaval and division spreading across the world with its unrest and uncertainty- it is more important than ever before to SHOW KINDNESS – to forgive- to love.
Be the person who makes the difference in your world. You have no way of knowing what the person around you may be struggling through.
You all have the power to MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR GOOD. Just decide to be willing, please. ❤️
Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.Matthew 7:12