Thursday, October 28, 2010

Progress Report

After a rough few weeks of setbacks in September, the last two weeks have brought renewed, slow health gains.  The new asthma inhaler at the beginning of the month helped, but last week the doctor made one more change which seems better still.

My new best friend

Last week also started 30 days of "My Life the Science Fair Experiment" as a prescription sinus irrigation compound replaced the previous plain saline solution.  And yes, that's just as much fun as it sounds.  [Smile.  It's not so bad and does help.]  This is reportedly the last resort for sinus infections and generally effective, but it is too soon to know how well it will work for me.

(If any readers live in Conroe, Texas, and have special prescription needs, Richie's Pharmacy, my doctor's choice for fulfilling this order, provided excellent customer service, fast shipping, and patient answers to all my questions.)

With the recent changes, I have been able to drive myself on a few short errands to the book drop, ATM, and the like.  My comfort and stamina limit for occasional chauffered outings or visitors at home has not really progressed beyond an hour to an hour and a half, but the pain and recovery time are less than they were a month ago.  For the last two Sundays, I have even been able to participate in worship at our nearest evangelical church.

We have one more doctor's appointment this week, on the day this posts, with a new specialist.  My asthma and lupus doctors feel it's important to make certain asthma is the only respiratory issue, and it's possible that a physician from a different discipline will have new insight or recommendations on continued treatment.  Depending on the outcome of that visit, I may have two weeks off from medical appointments before the next round commences.  That would be a welcome respite.

That's the generally positive update on physical health.

Internally, there are growing pains today.  As the necessary holiday discussions begin, I'm feeling frustration over the need to plan possibilities yet avoid commitment and disappointment in likely disappointing others.  Thanksgiving and Christmas are the next landmarks ahead on the trail, and we don't at all know whether our particular path will move toward or away from time with family on those days.  We do know it's still very important to minimize stress and not overdo, even if that should require a "no" to good and important activities.

Truthfully, we don't know whether I'll feel like eating out at a restaurant for our Saturday date or going to church on Sunday.  A month ahead seems like an eternity.  Day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment are the way decisions happen here.  On the day of this writing, there have already been several course corrections as energy waxed and waned for no obvious reason.

Perhaps this is a good frustration, though.  It is the humbling of my pride and independence, the pruning of cultural confidence in plans and calendars, the reminder that every desire and plan is "if the Lord wills."  It is another opportunity to trust God to meet my family's needs as well as my own.  It is good for me to learn, again, Elisabeth Elliot's favorite lesson, "Do the Next Thing."  Anything that heightens my sense of dependence on God, as this does, is a good thing.

That's the progress report: mostly positive and not entirely comfortable, but that's ok.  Even good.

The LORD is good to those who wait for him,
   to the soul who seeks him.

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