And so it is winter.
Well I guess it is not officially here till December 21, but at least in my world it has felt a lot like winter. One might think I am talking about the weather but one would be wrong. It was into the 70's today at one point.
I've been experiencing a personal season of winter.
As you might have been able to tell from my previous post all has not been well. Sorry to have left you hanging but when I am troubled, I am speechless. And when I am speechless, it's difficult to type.
I've been reading a book the past few days entitled "Grace Grows Best In Winter" by Margaret Clarkson. I found it at a thrift store back in the good old days of summer. If grace grows best in winter, I must be growing by leaps and bounds! Winter is everywhere. Winter is before me, winter is behind me, winter is above me and winter is below me. I can't get away from winter.
The day before we left to go on our trip to New York my husband found himself jobless. How do you go on vacation without a job? How do you stay home when you already have so much invested in a trip that you won't be able to get back if you don't go?
Stay at home and be sad, troubled and perplexed? Or, go to New York and be sad, troubled and perplexed?
We chose to go.
Our first day there we were determined to have a good time. Knowing we were now on a VERY limited budget we decided we would walk everywhere and not spend one dime on taking subways or cabs. We must have walked ten miles that day.
Enter chest pain.
By time we got back to the hotel that evening I felt like my infant grandson was lying on my chest. I've never felt that type of pressure in my chest before. I could feel my heart pounding and skipping beats. The anxiety that came with all this was almost too much to bear.
Where do I go to the hospital? What would be the cost? Do I have insurance anymore? Am I going to die while on vacation?
Does anyone know how much Continental charges it's passengers to come home early? I do. It's obscene-- I won't even say. After talking to the Continental people I decided if I was going to die, I would just have to die in New York.
But I didn't die. I didn't go to the doctor in New York either. I just rode it out. I had these episodes the entire time I was in New York.
Two day after coming back home I had another episode and my family doctor sent me straight to the emergency room--full cardiac work up with all the bells and whistles.
Seems my D-Dimer was through the roof. What is a D-Dimer? I asked the same thing and I am a nurse. Seems the D-Dimer detects blood clots and the ER doctor said I had blood clots in my lungs and sent me off for a CT of the chest. Shortly thereafter he comes back into my room and says no, it's not a blood clot in my lungs because my CT was normal. And oh by the way, I can go home now.
Never mind by this time my children and husband are planning my funeral.
Have I ever mentioned how much I dislike ER doctors?
And so, after thousands of dollars worth of test, which may or may not be covered by my husband's former employer's insurance, and visits to the cardiologist, I now know I have a leaky valve, a heart murmur, and anxiety.
The cardiologist that I ended up going to was born and raised in New York city. He came to live and practice in Mississippi because he found he loved it here so much.
Oh the irony!
There are other winter journeys I'm on as well-- but they are too numerous and personal to blog about so I will simply ask for your prayers. I know that many of you may be experiencing colder, deeper and darker winter journeys than I and with that in mind, know too, that I will be uplifting you in prayer as well.
And if grace grows best in winter--well then, my dear blogger friends--may winter abound!
"And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:" 2 Corinthians 9:8
(Photos by me; Mississippi snow day Feb. 2010)