The glove on the sidewalk

In Christ there are no “coincidences,” just Divine touchstones:  those events orchestrated by the Lord for our good, for His glory.  Sometimes we get to see His hand and sometimes we don’t.  And other times things look too dark to come from our loving, sovereign, holy Father.  These can all be quite mysterious this side of heaven, eh?  Less so for me these days.  My faith has grown to trust the Lord in all things (even the ones I don’t understand).  Allow me to elaborate from my world of late.

I was walking into a medical appointment today and saw a glove lying on the sidewalk next to an adjacent garage.  I used a tissue to pick it up since it looked soiled then I noted that it looked quite familiar.  Yes, it was the glove I had “temporarily misplaced” last week!  But how could it have remained here in this sort of prominent place unnoticed for seven whole days?  Who knows?  Chances are that I dropped it off my lap onto the blacktop when I exited my vehicle and it simply blew over to the sidewalk inch by inch until it’s black silhouette was easier to see against the lighter-colored cement.  The staff person in the office helped me figure it out.  I was dumbfounded!

Similarly, I have found little God-moments in the arduous process of transitioning from IV infusions at an outpatient clinic to my home.  When you are forced into a private-pay healthcare service there is no one to assist you with navigating the 18 agencies, 6 pharmacy/supply companies, coordination of care, financial arrangements, medical orders, and “GO” button to make it all happen within a week of making the decision to do all of this.  Today was treatment day number 2!  Whew and thank you Lord!  I have been taking more naps since it all came together probably due to the stress of it all more than anything else.  There is still more to do but hey, no worries.  I’m on it!

Huber needle

The research the Lord empowered me to do has become another blessing.  First, the pharmacy I initially chose did not have the Safe Set Huber needle that would work better than what I had been sent to access my power port.  My nurse was able to quickly contact another provider on my list to have the one pictured above and some other supplies sent to my home in time for treatment #3.  No problemmo, the pharmacist essentially personally texted me from her home late Friday afternoon.  Now that’s service!

home, infusions, IV, treatment, Rocephin, ceftriaxone, home care, home health, nursing, port, power port, hospital, treatement, Lyme, disease, chronic
My new treatment space!

In another example, it looked like renting 2 infusion pumps would add a lot of expense and complexity to the home care until a “mistake” happened during one of my last treatments at the outpatient clinic.  The lab mixed the reconstituted antibiotic with the 500 cc of normal saline instead of dispensing them separately.  This would change the dosing that we had landed on to prevent seizure attacks during the hour-long infusions.  As it turns out, I tolerated the combined treatments just fine.  So there would be no need for the rental of 2 pumps, no extra expense, and not even a need for expensive, pre-filled “ball” or elastomeric pumps.  I ordered an IV pole ($20) and the meds pre-mixed into the bag of fluids instead.  Cool beans.  But all this still does not mean that I want to become a nurse ya know!

The Lord is in the details of our lives, Gentle Reader.  He knows them, He sees them, He cares about them, He grieves them, He loves over them and us too.  Just when we think that God is nowhere to be found, we need to look a little more closely at the small stuff.  We need to move the space from “God is nowhere” to “God is now here.”  He never leaves us or forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5, Deuteronomy 31:6) even in the midst of trials.  The trials may be the very place when we may see Him the best.  Take a look this week and be sure to tell me about it, k?  JJ

Psalm 139.17.18



A matter of perspective

Monday’s perspective:

The level of sunlight raises up then down in the hallway beyond my bed
Like a child playing with a dimmer switch, how I know where these thoughts have led!
How can I get up and face the world one more, yes one more day?
When so much suffering met me here or there, no matter where the level of light has shone along the way?
Still one cannot judge the next moment based upon the past
You just cannot predict when joy, when peace, when hope will come at last?
Simmer down inner child and let the sovereignty of your Lord speak.
You must remember how He delivered you in the past when you were so weak.

Your fears, your toils were measured by My drops of blood while I hung on that cross
I saw, I see, I weep, and I am always right there when you feel lost.
Hitch your heart to Mine choosing faith that freedom will come in due time
Watch for My answers, My leadings, My deliverance some now, some beyond a simple rhyme.

There is hope. There is more. There is a heaven, I promise as I know you have seen.
Walk towards My light dear one: what’s coming is greater than what has been . . .

Friday’s perspective:

In time the beatings diminish

And you catch your breath to finish

The week that held too much, oh dear

Gave way to Friday and better news to hear.

Things moved forward:  medical tests and even some healing

Living more in the facts by golly with less in the “fearful feelings.”

I might even go out soon:  making plans for the days ahead Lord willing

Better get the pup.  It’s time for a ride to pick up the bacon, the drugs, the groceries:  excuses good enough to put off another day the cleaning!

May the Lord bless your weekend, Gentle Reader.  JJ

A Pause in the Middle of the Storm

Best ceremony photo

I am grateful to report that I received my Advanced Master Gardener designation from the Cooperative Extension Office of Purdue University, Fort Wayne yesterday. God is good.

To become a Master Gardener in a University-affiliated program in the United States, a person takes a three-month course, six hours per week, successfully completes all class assignments and projects, takes a comprehensive exam, and completes 48 hours of related volunteer work.  Each additional rank of recognition, requires additonal volunteer hours and educational classes.  For me, the volunteer work and training was accomplished while undergoing treatment and complications of Lyme Disease!  How does that work?  By the grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ alone!

Sometimes I would stop at the Extension Office to water the Vegetable Garden in the cold or extreme heat because it needed me to do so as one of the members of the Vegetable Garden team.  Sometimes I went to an educational class a “shred-over-nauseous” in the evening just to get out of the house and be around people.  And the Lord allowed me to sit at my computer last Winter and research a beautification project for my housing association . . . to help me get out of bed!  I remain grateful for this opportunity to accomplish something meaningful to me and even more grateful for the love and support of my husband, Steve.

Steve encouraged me to cut back on my work schedule and take the Master Gardener class before illness first struck in October of 2011.  After that it was the friendship of our special project group within the class that kept me going as viral hepatitis set in:  Jim Battin, James Poiry, Sue Hauck, Cindy Trygg, and Beth Fiato.  Sue Hauck is in the picture above, to my left (I’m the gal in black) and Cindy Trygg is in the audience:  two sweet gardeners extraordinaire that took an interest in me and kept the friendly connections going after the class ended.  When I began treatment for Lyme Disease in January of 2012, Fran and Karen Yorio and Bill Diedrich joined what was to become the Willow Run Community Association Beautification Project and kept it all going with great support and feedback when the going got tough for me.  Later in the year, Cindy, Jim Neuhouser and Jo Ellen Smith allowed me to work at my own pace and sometimes alone late in the day to hang in there this past summer with the Veggie Garden team.   These crazy hours of volunteering and ongoing training, with the support of kindred spirited Master Gardeners and Interns, helped me earn this designation.  Thank you!  You da best!  I could not, would not have been able to do anything without your friendship.

Last night was a pause, a moment to reflect, despite the ongoing chaos that is in our home right now.  We ate banquet food and listened to a presentation on prairie management from Blue Heron Ministries, Inc.  Just that we were out for a special night then returned to the hotel room to crash while our home begins the mold restoration process.  Throughout this past 1 1/2 year, I am grateful to know that gardening, one of my favorite passions (with Steve being number one, of course!) will be there when the dust settles (and goes away!) in our home.  Maybe this Spring I’ll plant a commemorative specimen to represent this amazing journey of discovery, of healing.

Hmmmmm . . . Any ideas what that should be?  :J