“Don’t cry. Don’t raise your eye. It’s only teenage wasteland,” sung by Roger Daltry and Pete Townsend of The Who in Baba O’Riley, 1971. (Decca Label)
The first rock concert I ever attended was “The Who” at the Pontiac Silverdome in Michigan. The venue doesn’t exist anymore and neither does the band! I will never forget the experience of seeing so many drunk, stoned, and wasted young people in one place before: the place probably held 80,000 of them that night!
I got to go to the concert for free as a member of the Warren Jayteens. The Warren Jaycees had a hot dog booth at the newly constructed Silverdome and we earned money for both of our community service organizations by working in their booth during Detroit Lions football games. The Who concert was to be the first rock concert scheduled at the Silverdome. When our Advisors in the Jaycees asked us if we wanted to work at the concert of course we said YES!!! Gratefully we ran out of our supply of hot dogs that we sold as Hawkers in the stands just as the concert was about to begin. We walked along the first level searching for the best view of the stage from the back of the seating area. It didn’t matter that we did not have seats. We were there!
I was there for the music. It appeared that virtually everyone else was there to get “wasted!” Sure is funny how my use of the term “wasted” has changed over the few decades since then. Flash forward and it appears that my hope these days is that my life and what happens to me will NOT be wasted! Time and experience are precious gifts to me: a blessing from the Lord to spend reveling in His glory, His plan for my time on this earth. We can’t take back either one after they are spent nor can we do them over again. So I want to be fully present in the gift of, well, the present and rest in its purpose or meaning.
Therein the challenge lies. How does one make sense of the savage beast that has become a part of my daily life? Shall I accept this thorn in my flesh or fight for the cure with every resource available to me? Do I drag my beloved husband through the details and horrors of every experience or escape alone: just my Heavenly Husband and me? These are the questions with which I grapple these days. And more often than not, my quest for meaningfulness falls short in a pile of wasted time, lying on a bed, seizing from head to toe. Then there’s the recovery phase. Such a raw deal at many levels. Wasted indeed, or so it seems.
There is no taming the savage beast at this point in time. Oh sure there are things I have learned to avoid that make the seizure attack episodes worse like consumption of simple carbohydrates, new treatments, exposure to mold and noxious sensory stimuli, and travelling away from home into unknown environments. But to make them go away: not a chance so far. I haven’t had an episode-free day in many months. Two years have gone by in this personal hell. This past week landed a night with a total of 6 hours of seizure and convulsive episodes with a 4-hour break in the middle somewhere in which I think I either passed out or slept. Yeah, that night was supposed to be part of a special visit with family at their newer home out of State. By the grace of God we had a few fun moments despite all of the suffering and post-seizure noxious symptom load thereafter. Guess you could call those minutes His redeeming grace. The scene captured below with my adoptive grandson, Jackson Rees, is a treasure to me. Treasures sometimes come at a price. Price paid. Moment not wasted.
And so it goes. Treatment continues for a systemic Candida infection. Treatment is on hold for Lyme disease and the mold-related illness called Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome. In this moment in time I just hope that the food I ate an hour ago didn’t have too much starch to turn on a yeast rock and roll concert in my brain. As I close here, I guess I’ll just look out of the window of my mind and note the wonder that lies beyond. This too shall pass and with it will come an amazing story of the Lord’s sustaining grace through the firestorm of illness. (Philippians 1:12)
I am so very grateful for my Lord and Savior: Jesus Christ. I just couldn’t make it without you! And if it is Your will precious Lord, please end this nightmare. I am ready to live again.
Philippians 1:21 (NIV)
21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
For more on non-epileptic seizures of biological origin, see the You Tube video in a previous blog: Hell on Earth