Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The next 60 seconds.

This is probably going to be a long post. I am still trying to digest all that has happened in the last five days. Thank you so much for praying for me and calling and sending emails. I feel very loved. I am also very overwhelmed with "life" so I am sorry if I have not called you back yet. Here is a little recap starting last Friday...

This is Tim's x-ray of his arm. It has hardly healed in 6 weeks. You can see the cloudy part around the break. That is new bone and we are very grateful for it! It means he doesn't have to have surgery. He took Reece into the appointment with him for a field trip to learn about bones and doctors. Homeschool is so fun.

The boys attached two passies together for Lake and thought it was so funny. Reece wanted me to get a picture. Lake's birthday is around the corner. I don't know what he likes besides passies and it is almost time for them to get taken away so I am not sure what kind of party to throw him. I thought of having a passy party with pictures of passies, passies on the cake, and passies as gifts.. That would be his dream-party. I don't know, we will see.
We left for mom's last Friday. We were set to fly out on Saturday to NYC for my appt. I was very nervous about leaving the boys, flying, seeing the doctor, etc. And, because I had been off antibiotics for a while, my symptoms were getting worse every day.

Saturday at 1:30 am, Bubba woke up with croup. I was afraid of that because Lake had it a couple days before. If you don't know what croup is, say a thankful prayer right now. It is staring into your child's terrified eyes as they can't breathe in or out because their little airways are closed off due to a weird response to a cold. ALL 3 of my boys get it.

So, we were up with him giving him steroids and breathing treatments and calling Delta trying to reschedule our flight. They said it would be $1,000 to leave on Sunday instead of Saturday. Our flight was at 10 am. I was so overwhelmed and tired that I kind of just checked out. I couldn't take so much crisis and stress.
The next morning, I told Tim to go work his cuteness with the girl at the Delta counter (I was desperate) and get us switched until Sunday. He did and it worked! We didn't have to pay anything. What a miracle and a blessing. I went back to mom's and slept, and slept, and slept.
We left on Sunday morning. After being on antibiotics for all these years, I get crazy motion-sickness. So, by the time we rode 2 planes, a train and the subway to get to our hotel, I was looking for the barf bag and wanting to lay down with the homeless people on the street.

The lobby of our hotel (Empire Hotel) was really pretty. I love fabric and it definitely had fabric! Animal prints too!

I would highly recommend this hotel! We got a great deal through Hotwire. It right by Central Park and has a Starbucks in the bottom.

Central Park Sunday afternoon.

Lombardi's pizza. YUM. We give this an 8 out of 10. It was really good. My friend Susan and her sweet husband Craig came in to the city to meet us for dinner. Susan is one of the few rays of sunshine in this whole Lyme mess. I met her in a dr's office a year or so ago. She was also very sick with Lyme Disease at the time (she is doing great now!). We bonded quickly through our sufferings and sense of humor. She has allowed me to stay in her home when I travel alone. She is a treasured friend. Her husband is a pilot so Tim talked 'planes' with him most of the night. They are both such wonderful people and I am so so thankful that God brought her into my life.

This place made me homesick for some strange reason. ;)

After pizza, we headed across the street to this SUPER-FUN place!!! I had never had rice pudding before. IT WAS AMAZING. Tim got "french toast" and I got "pecan pie". It is so rich and creamy. We give this place a 10 out of 10! YUMMO!!

Aren't they cute?

We went to this place for brunch Monday morning. It was cute and dainty but we only give it a 6 out of 10 because the food was just good- not great. Tim cracks me up in these girly restaurants. He just seems a little lost. ;)

More animal print. God knows how to cheer my heavy heart.

A little stroll down 5th avenue.

Love this trendy store! I bought a fun white pea coat.

Rockefeller Center

I am so happy Esprit is making a come back. I remember my first very own esprit outfit for my 7th grade cheerleading tryouts. It was a red shirt that said esprit in white with red and white striped shorts. I looked like a million bucks (but not good enough for this uncoordinated girl to make the squad!). I wore that outfit all the time.

It was almost time for my dr's appt. Tim hailed a cab and took me across the city to the cupcake place I was dying to go to.

These pictures make me so happy.

Craving a cupcake yet?

Another 10 out of 10 for this place! They were delicious and affordable! It's the little things in life.
(My love affair with sugar must come to a sad end as I enter back into the world of juiced spinach, beets, and salads.)

Once again, Tim in a girly place cracks me up.

It is just very wrong somehow but adorable that he goes to make me smile.

Ok, now the fun is OVER. It is time to see the doctor. My legs are KILLING me. My joints are all hurting so so bad. We start walking down the busy street toward the dr's office. There are tons of people out because it was a holiday. Everyone seemed so happy. It felt like a movie. The noises seemed really loud and everybody was laughing... but me. I felt the heaviness of my circumstances, the fear of the unknown, the claustrophobia this disease gives me because I can't seem to get out. The weight of this is so heavy to bear at times. Tears were streaming down my face as we continued to walk toward 79th street. I recently heard one of my favorite pastors (Alistair Begg) say that when life is overwhelming and things are looking very grim to just pray, "God help me to glorify you with the next 60 seconds". That was all I could pray. That and "lead me to the rock that is higher than I".

We sat in the office of an old doctor who looked like a college professor as he looked over all my lab work. The Lyme test was positive. Specifically pointing to the arthritic symptoms. He went on to explain to us molecular science and lots of other details I have no recollection of. Tim listened. He talked with us for an hour and a half asking me about my symptoms and previous treatments.

He came up with a new treatment plan based on these details targeting the bacteria that he thinks is the problem. It is a new treatment and he thinks if all goes well, I could be back up and jogging in 6 months. The antibiotic treatment will be for 3-6 months and will be very hard on my body.
Ughhh...Here we go again.
I really only had 2 questions for this man.
1. Will I ever be well again?
2. Will I ever be able to have more children?
When I asked him #1, he leaned back in his chair and scratched his chin. He said, "We can get the infection under control and into a dormant state. Will it ever be gone?
He said, "Here is the good news. I have a room with boxes full of charts of patients who have never come back." I said, "I want my chart in one of those boxes".

His answer to #2...
"If we can get this under control and you have 2 months with no symptoms, then you can have another baby but will have to be on antibiotics the entire pregnancy and breast-feeding is risky."
He hugged me and said, "you have a good spirit about you. I think you are going to do well."
(I thought to myself, He is a good Spirit... and Holy. Do you know Him? ;))

I said, "I hope I am the easiest case you have ever had".
Back to the airport we went. I am trying to take everything in and figure out if this had been good news or bad news. It seemed bad to me because the mountain I have to climb (the treatment) to get out of this is very steep and I am tired.
When we got to Cincinatti, our connecting flight had already closed the doors and they would not let us on. There were no more flights out. I just curled up in a ball and cried. I think by this point I was developing another personality due to insane amounts of stress. I just wanted to go home. I missed my boys. My legs hurt so bad and now we are stuck in Cincinatti. We had to spend the night in some junky hotel and walk forever to eat at Subway since we had no car. My mom and dad had to take another day off of work to care for the boys. They are so supportive and amazing.
Tim had to be back at work the next day so he took a different flight than me early so he could get back in time to see some patients.
I was alone to try and make sense of all of this. None of it really makes sense.
As I looked out my plane window at the mountains, I thought of God's response to Job...

"Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation?...
Have you ever given orders to the morning,
or shown dawn its place?...
What is the way to the abode of light?
And where does darkness reside?
Can you take them to their places?..
Have you entered the storehouses of the snow
or seen the storehouses of hail?..
Do you send lightning bolts on their way?..
Do you give the horse his strength
or clothe his neck with a flowing mane?
Does the eagle soar at your command
and build the nest on high?"
Job 38, 39

In other words, God is so big. His plans are big. They are bigger than anything my finite brain can figure out. I don't understand why I have to suffer or go through this but I know God's plans cannot be thwarted.
Psalm 23 really spoke to me too...
"THE LORD is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
(this next verse is what jumped out at me.)
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD
I don't understand this path but believe that God is leading me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake. I see so much evidence of His Holy hand in this trial. Unbelievable things that are just plain shocking and humbling to see what God is doing in this. I want to be a good steward of this trial. I still have crazy faith that God can completely heal me (not dormant- healed) and confirm that He did it...for His glory.

I am at a point in my life where I am living minute by minute in complete dependency on the Lord. It is not a place I would have chosen to come but a powerful one that I want to somehow embrace. Thank you for praying for me. I am so thankful to have all of my friends and blog family.
"I start my new medications this afternoon."
Glorify Me with the next 60 seconds.
"I don't know if I will ever be completely well."
Glorify Me with the next 60 seconds.
"I don't know if I will ever be able to have more children."
Glorify Me with the next 60 seconds.
"Everybody's life seems so much easier than mine."
Glorify Me with the next 60 seconds.
"How am I going to be able to do what You are calling me to do?"
Glorify Me with the next 60 seconds.
"There is simply NO WAY I can---"
Glorify ME, oh beloved daughter. I will guide you.
"Ok, Lord. Here WE go. Thank You that You hold me by my hand."
"But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."
2 Cor 12:9
"When he lighted the way before me... I walked safely through the darkness."
Job 29:3


HowryFamily said...

I'm not really sure how I stumbled upon your blog... but I have. I know I don't know you from Adam but just know that you're in my prayers. God bless you my sister in Christ!

Abby Davis said...

I've been watching your blog like a hawk waiting to hear how NY went. I know you're tired and exhausted by all of this, but I am praying so hard that this round of antibiotics goes well, Steph. Relax and have peace in knowing that you have countless prayers and support on your behalf. I'd say that being home again with your boys has given you a much-needed boost to start your treatment! : ) I'm praying.... Love you!!

Anonymous said...

steph - so so so glad you are HOME! I hope the boys are better. I guess this is good news? I cannot imagine how much you are not looking forward to the next couple of months - but after ALL you have gone through - God WILL get you through this, too! We love you - cherie

maryanne420 said...


I was thinking about you and praying for you. I pray that this new treatment will heal every inch of your body and I also pray that you will be able to have more children as you are an excellent mother.

Thank you for always encouraging us through your posts. Despite your circumstance, you remain real and show your dependency on Christ making your readers realize that surrendering everything to our Lord Almighty is the only way to go.

Adrienne said...

You are such a blessing to so many. Thank you for sharing your story and continuing to be real through the ups and downs of this trial. You have been in my heart and my prayers these past few days, and I will continue to pray that this antibiotic treatment does the trick. God's grace IS sufficient, and you are living proof. In Him, Adrienne

Keri said...

You're my hero, Steph. Hang in there. :)

Anonymous said...

Praying for you Steph, hang in there! You are such a blessing to many!! Love you, Marina

Anonymous said...

I REMEMBER your ESPRIT outfit for cheerleading tryouts circa 88!!! I wore a belky outfit!! Neither worked out for us! Ha! Maybe we should ask Anna what she was wearing! I hope that makes you smile pretty lady. I am praying for you and hope these new antibiotics go well. What is it??Love ya, Tiffany

donnaj said...

Stephanie - I am one of those 500 hits that has never commented. I am bethanne's Mother (Waiting for the Shout), go to church with your Mom and Dad, and married a Kilday (your Grandad and my Father-in-law were cousins). Now, that introductions are over, I need to tell you how much your blog means to me, and although I do not know you personally, I love you. I read your powerful words and know that your desire is to please and glorify Him in spite of your pain. I think about Paul and his "thorn", yet what a powerful witness he was. You are also a powerful witness! Thank you so much for your willingness to let the Holy Spirit use you for His glory, even with this "thorn".

HIS Child said...

Praying that HE continues to whisper His Presence moment by moment, and you actually feel the pressure of His hand in yours. God bless you precious sister and know that I will be lifting you up to His Throne.
Lord I pray that you give Stephanie your Mighty courage and when she feels like she can't make another move Father rain down on her with a power that will never be mistaken for anything other than You.
Much love,

Nicole said...

Hey Stephanie, I know you certainly don't feel like it right now but from where I am sitting you have the strength and faith of an OX!!! You make my migraines look like bee stings that I am dealing with and I ache that you have to go thru this because no one should endure chronic pain day in and day out. No one knows the true torture of attempting to live "normally" while caring for kids (and in my case working also) until they are faced with it.

I pray that this new treatment works and if it does then you can make it 6 months for the rewards it will bring you in the end...especially if that means another child! :) ) You are truly blessed to have Tim who is so supportive and caring and loving to you (his Valentive post was AWESOME)...if you ever need anything when you are in town...and have plane trouble and time issues like you did, don't hesitate to call me!!! Praying for you!!!!

LeslieTummel said...

#1- Because of the cupcake pics, I'm going to make cupcakes...RIGHT NOW! (Josh's birthday is tomorrow...that's my perfect excuse!)
#2- I am praying for you! My prayer this week has been that you will be able to sing "It Is Well With My Soul" and mean every word.

YOU can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. (Phil. 4:13) Love you, Steph!

Erin Southwell said...

"Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and He will say: Here am I." Isaiah 58: 8,9

Love you, Steph. My sister in crazy faith in Him.

Marci said...

Wow! You have a beautiful blog and are a talented writer and photographer!

Stacy said...

I have so been waiting and praying about the results of this trip. Like you, I am reading this and trying to decide if this is good news or not. I don't fully understand.

I wanted to share with you a verse that I came upon shortly after reading your blog...it just made me think of you.

...that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. - 1 Corinthians 2:5

You are, no doubt, dealing with some wise doctors who are doing their best to help...but that is not where our faith is focused.

Praying for you today.

Stephanie said...

Thank you so much for this verse. It really ministers to my heart.
I wish I had your email address so I could write to you! If you see this, will you send it to me?

Becca Rocha said...

Steph! I am praying for you. I know you are coming to see us Tuesday for girl time, but if you need to postpone it we will totally understand! I hate that you are going through this but I hope you know that God is already using it for such good. Your story is such a testimony and your faith is such an encouragement. You have really inspired me and Emily (who came to your house for Diana's thing)and we have been working to learn more Scripture. God is using you probably more than you realize. Looking forward to seeing you next week, but we seriously understand if you want to come another time (especially since I need to send you my book!! Sorry about that). Email me if you need to: beccajrocha@gmail.com

Thanks Steph for being so faithful,

Julie said...

Steph - I wish I had some grand words to comfort you, but please know I am thinking of you and continuing to pray. The doctor was right - you have such a beautiful spirit about you. You ARE strong...You CAN do this!!! And we will all be with you, praying each step of the way!!

"If I'm afraid, doesn't mean that I'm not brave.
If I doubt, doesn't mean that I've lost faith.
If I fall, doesn't mean that I can't go on.
And if I cry, doesn't mean that I'm not strong." -Jana Stanfield

It's okay to be afraid, to doubt, to fall and to cry...but always remember you ARE brave, you HAVE Faith, you CAN go on, and you ARE SO, SO, SO Strong!!!


The Pumphrey's said...

Just wanted you to know that I am praying for you today. May it give you encouragement that everything you are going through is being used as such a blessing to others - I am amazed by your strength and faith and feel I am a better servant of the Lord everytime I read your blog...know that it is not all in vain - all your suffering and trials - God is using them for His glory!! You are awesome and in my prayers!

amanda said...

Steph - You are amazing. Praying for you, Tim, your boys and the doctors. Love you sister!

Nana said...

I am happy to comment to make you happy. I would that I could pray and make "it" go away.

How many of the 500 hitters are getting the only Jesus they will see / read today? I don't know why God has you on this journey. My heart aches for you. My spirit rejoices that our Father has to be so blest by your authenticity and devotion to Him ... in your pain. Our Father's Son, our Saviour, was authentic and committed ... in pain ... obedient and all about glorifying the Father. You keep on blessing Him and challenging us and I pray for you a folder in a box in the back room! Then we'll shout with you in the congregation ... I wanna be there!

Swoop up dem feathers on your pillow ... you are under His wings!!!!