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It is Well

This morning, at 7:28am, I got a text from my best friend saying that a package was supposed to be delivered to my apartment around 7:30 so I probably wouldn’t want to get in the shower or anything. Sooo what I actually did was jump up, threw my morning hair into a messy bun, and scrambled into some semi-decent clothes, just in time to hear a very signature knock at my door. The knock gave it away because Natalie always knocks the same way and then I knew it was actually her and I needn’t have bothered.

She came because today marks 2 years from that very first seizure. It seems like sooo much longer than that- years longer. Two years ago, my life changed and went in a direction that I never expected. So she brought me an inside joke gift:

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If you read this post, then you know she did this once before when I hit another significant mark throughout this journey. Anyway, it was a great start to my morning! She is the best.

But today I want to talk about how epilepsy has effected yet another area of my life that I took for granted.

I have always loved music. I used to play piano, I took flute lessons for seven years, and it was a pretty rare day that we didn’t listen to some sort of music as kids. As an adult, I used to listen to music while I ran, while I cleaned, cooked, worked, etc. Almost constantly, I guess. It kind of ran my day.

Music is still very important to me but I have trouble listening to it now. My mind has trouble concentrating on things while listening to music and I almost CRAVE absolute silence. It’s really rare now for me to just turn on music as a background noise unless it’s for other people. That being said, I’m about to reference music and songs a lot, because they mean a lot to me. 🙂

A song that is pretty popular right now and I actually really like is Even If by MercyMe. It is reminiscent of Job in my mind:

I know You’re able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone
I know the sorrow, and I know the hurt
Would all go away if You’d just say the word
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone

There is another line of that song that says, “Give me the strength to be able to sing, It is well with my soul.” I didn’t learn the truth of this phrase until recently. I grew up singing the song It is Well and my current church sings it every so often. But it wasn’t until this past year that I stood up to sing it and my mouth closed as I realized I would be lying if I spoke the words. As I stood there in silence, it occurred to me that it wasn’t well, it wasn’t okay! I was hurting in several different ways and It. Wasn’t. Well.

I knew it should be. You don’t have to tell me what the meaning behind the words is. I know about eternal perspective and focusing on Christ. But sometimes, temporary issues (whether they are physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, or all put together!) cloud our vision of Christ. Some days, it’s REALLY hard to say, It is Well. Which is one reason I love the line from Even If, “Give me the strength…” Yes, Lord! How could we possibly be okay with earthly troubles unless God gives us the strength to lean into him?? Unless he gives us the strength to say (and mean) It is Well??

There have been quite a few songs that have helped me over the last two years. I’m going to reference one more. The chorus goes like this and pretty much sums up my life:

If I ever needed grace, it’s now
You are strong when I am weak, somehow
I am weak enough to see
I need You to cover me
If I ever needed grace, it’s now

 

(Jimmy Needham, If I Ever Needed Grace)

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2018 in epilepsy

 

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An Expert in Passing Out

You know, of all the things I had hoped to excel at in life, passing out was at the bottom of the list. Actually it wasn’t on the list.

The second medicine I got put on is one that you have to work your way onto so it took roughly four weeks to get to the dose my doctor wanted me at. I had passed out twice on the previous med (which I was only on for about 4 days) so my neurologist switched me to a different one. I do have to say that the new one (Topamax) did a great job at controlling the seizures. But it did a terrible job at causing me to pass out.

I had a little bit of warning. I could feel it coming on like you can feel the tension in the air before a bad thunderstorm comes. Sometimes that feeling would last for an hour before and sometimes it was just a couple of minutes. Then usually about 15 seconds before I passed out I could tell for sure that it was coming. There were a couple of my friends who could look at my face and tell before I could that it was time to find a place to lay down. That was the goal- lay down BEFORE you pass out.

It got to the point where I was almost on a schedule. It would happen just about every other day. You know, it’s a very weird feeling to wake up in the morning and know that at some point, and in some place during that day, you are going to pass out. I’ve passed out in so many different places. When you don’t have much warning, you just find the most out of sight place close to you and sit or lay down. I’ve passed out in my yard, in the office, at church, so many different places around the Farm, and the list goes on. Friends have caught me from falling, have laid me down, and have held my head while waiting for me to wake back up. I was usually only out for 20 seconds-1 minute. It’s pretty sad when passing out barely ruffles your day.

I had to practically beg my doctor to take me off Topamax. She didn’t believe that the meds could be causing the issue and still thought there was something the matter with my heart. I had passed all the heart tests with flying colors and my heart had been pronounced very healthy by the cardiologist. She finally agreed to start taking me down off the medicine and guess what? It takes four weeks to come off of it too. So the passing out continued.

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I passed out a total of 32 times while on Topamax. My best friend got me a cake when we hit that mark because everyone should eat some cake if they have passed out that many times. God was so gracious to me though! There were so many times that I could have fallen and hurt myself but I didn’t. He provided close friends who know me better than I know myself (apparently) to catch me and care for me. He protected me from harm and I am thankful for that.

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2017 in The2016Story

 

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