Poems, Personal Stories, and Observations

Posts tagged ‘miracle’

Mood Disorder?

First, a disclaimer: I am not a psychologist, and have no psychological training except a few college classes and one five-day workshop. However, I have been in and out of counseling/therapy since age 12 or 13 (I’m now 66), sometimes with a break of many years. So, any psychological terms I use will be my understanding of what they mean, as a layperson.

My main diagnosis through all these years has been mild to moderate depression, or dysthymia. If I understand correctly, dysthymia comes under a broader category called “mood disorders”.

There are many opinions about depression, including “Just pull yourself together,” “It’s because of your sins,” “It’s a lack of faith,” “It’s from ‘stinkin’ thinking’ (irrational, untrue, or unrealistic thinking),” and “It’s a chemical imbalance in your brain.” Of course, all of these can be true, or overlapping.

I am often (not always) in a state of low-grade melancholy, for whatever reasons, as noted above. I could even add the excuse of my cultural background, which is Hungarian. My parents grew up there and then emigrated to the United States. From what I have read, melancholy is a common characteristic among Hungarians. Again, this could be for many reasons. One of my theories is that Hungary, for hundreds of years, has been overrun by foreign powers and has been constantly at their mercy (if there was any mercy). At any rate, melancholy does seem to be common among Hungarians, indeed, many eastern Europeans.

But, today I would like to share a surprising recent occurrence for me, perhaps a small miracle. The other day, I was in the typical, mildly low, mood. Sometime around 5:30 p.m., it was like someone turned on a switch. I was happy! I felt loved, and worthwhile, like God, and some people, loved me! It was inexplicable! I repeat, it was literally like a switch was turned on in my mood. No longer the negative thoughts like “Nobody likes me,” “I’m evil (or at best, worthless),” “Things are going to turn out badly,” etc. Lest this sounds frightening to anyone, let me be clear; I sometimes have these thoughts, but I don’t give in to them. They are like attacks that happen periodically. I have found ways to combat them. I am not miserable anymore, as I was in younger days. I have the hope of Jesus Christ, which is what keeps me alive and functioning and purposeful. Speculating on where they come from could be another blog post.

Like any mood change, I cannot explain what happened. I’ve even had the opposite happen. I will be in a mildly low mood and plunge into a more severe depression. Happily, this happens less and less in my life.

What can I learn from this? I believe God is trying to tell me, “Don’t rely on how you FEEL. I am with you despite any moods, feelings, or thoughts. I never leave you. Do not base your worth on how you feel, or how others treat you.” Whether I feel happy, sad, or in between, I mustn’t take that as my major reality. My major reality is that God is present and will not abandon me. THIS IS THE REALITY, not what I FEEL!

Sleepless (#1)

Sleepless nights
And restless days;
I wake at one,
And then I pray.

 What are you trying to teach me, Lord?
Why can’t I hear Your voice?
I beat against Your heart, so good;
Don’t seem to have a choice.

 There’s something that You’re saying;
My ears are all stopped up.
I need a precious miracle;
Don’t let me now give up.

Extending through the mists of time —
The mystery of Your love divine.
If I could grasp that love so deep,
My heart and mind would be at peace.

The Kidney Stone Miracle

So, on President’s Day, 2/17/2014, I was thinking of going to a class at my church. On the way to the car, I thought, “I don’t feel that great, I’d better stay home.” Soon my husband got home from work, and we ate dinner. I gradually felt worse. We went to bed and I kept hoping the bad feeling would go away, but it didn’t. Pretty soon my lower right back started to hurt and it got worse. The pain became so bad that I vomited. I told Tom, “We need to go to urgent care or emergency.” We soon figured out that urgent care had just closed (it was 9:05 p.m.), so off we went to emergency. It began to be the same level of pain as being in labor before birth, but I never vomited in labor.

We checked in and had to wait for triage. Meanwhile I was hunched over, breathing hard. Eventually it was our turn and I explained to the nurse my pain, unfortunately vomiting once or twice again, into a bag given me for that purpose. I have to admire the medical folks, who emotionally might want to fix your pain right away, but don’t because they need to know what’s wrong first. It must be hard to watch.

Soon I was put in a private room in the emergency ward. I can’t remember the sequence of things, but eventually I did get some pain medication. I think it was given soon after they did a CT scan; I don’t recall. In any case, I finally got relief. Perhaps a half hour later, although again all the times are fuzzy, a doctor from radiology came in to say, yes, I had a kidney stone on my right side , and it was stuck for the time being.

Then he went on to say that they’d also found “something concerning”, a tumor near the left kidney. Needless to say, Tom and I were in shock and it took time for it to sink in. The doctor gave me a list of specialists to choose from to make an appointment as soon as possible.

In the end, we met with the specialist and first agreed that he would clean out my right kidney with lithotripsy and get the stuck kidney stone as well. So 2/20, I had the lithotripsy, but the stuck kidney stone had already passed, though I didn’t know it! (Too many pain meds, maybe?) At least my right kidney shouldn’t give me trouble for a while! It took me about two weeks to feel somewhat normal again. Meanwhile, I got another CT scan, with contrast, which I take it is more accurate, so the doctor could get a better look at the tumor.

So, to get to the miracle: If I hadn’t had the emergency, I never would have had the CT scan, which revealed the tumor. The tumor hasn’t spread. Though I don’t like the situation, it’s early enough to remove the tumor altogether, and I should be fine. If you already feel symptoms from the tumor (which I had not), it may be too late to cure. Thank you, Lord!

Surgery is now scheduled for 3/17/2014 (previously 3/31). I would appreciate your prayers. Thanks in advance!

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Postscript: After the surgery, in a communication with my surgeon, he hinted that the kidney stones were not that big and perhaps the main reason I had the emergency was that I was dehydrated.

The Gardener

The Gardener

I cling to clods,

I dally in dirt.

I dig up the sod

And wait for God

To perform the miracle

Of seed to plant.

I work in the sun,

The cold and the rain;

Inclement weather

I do not disdain.

From dirty fingers

I do not refrain.

I witness a miracle:

Every day,

The miracle of life

Is on display.

When it’s time to plant,

I do not delay.

Such wondrous things

Do I perceive:

The seed, the seedling,

The first new leaf.

Continually the new thing grows;

When it will stop, only God knows.

Amazing thing,

That on its own,

The seed into a plant has grown.

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