“The goodness of God is the highest object of prayer,
and it reaches down to our lowest need.
It quickens our soul and gives it life, and makes it grow in grace and virtue.”
St. Julian of Norwich
So recently I have spent time running from ologist to ologist,
with a few MDs thrown in for good measure.
About a year or so ago you might remember that I was thought to be a carrier
A genetic disposition for the body to store up iron.
Iron is not eliminated by the body…it usually gets what it needs to function
from food, or if necessary, from supplements.
I had no idea that the body can’t process out extra iron…extra iron gets
stored up in organs, much like a grain silo—
organs don’t do well with a growing surplus of iron that is not used up.
It was eventually determined that I did not have full-blown hemochromatosis but I do,
however, possess one variant gene.
One normal gene and one not so normal gene.
So what that means is that I am a carrier who is having storage issues.
All because that blasted one rouge gene has got my body acting like
a freaking storage silo.
Soooo, the solution???…drain off the blood.
My current numbers are at 336…normal is 150.
So last week I had to see a slew of doctors.
I saw the gastroenterologist, a hematologist, my regular Internal med doctor
along with a radiologist while both my gynecologist and rheumatologist loudly weighed
in on all the bloodwork.
Seems this blood of mine is a quandary that’s gotten my medical folks in a dither.
One marker read that I was at high risk for blood clots.
That sent three of the 6 into a tizzy…each screaming, in his or her own way,
that I needed to start a baby aspirin a day or even blood thinners while immediately
coming back off the estrogen.
“WHOA—HOLD ON!” I yelled!
“I just got back on the estrogen after two months of misery and zero sleep!!!”
There were a few other pesky issues as well so it was off to the hospital
for an abdominal CT scan along with, you guessed it, more bloodwork.
The good news is that the CT scan was all good except for my back…
but I already knew that.
The other good news was that the clotting markers were now perfectly normal…
HA! The estrogen can stay…thank the Lord!
But the iron…aka ferritin, well, it was over twice what it needs to be.
That meant a visit to the
vampire transfusion center.
The last time I gave blood of any real significance, as in a pound bag’s worth,
was back in 1977.
I was a junior in high school and gave at our school’s blood drive.
After I was finished, I sat up on the table only to fall back down.
I repeated the up and down business several more times until I was told
to finally stay down.
After an hour or so and a few cookies later, I was released back to class…
and it was now time for lunch.
I can vividly remember getting my salad and walking back to the lunch table.
I looked at my salad and that’s all I remembered…until I woke
up, flat on my back, on the floor with salad scattered all around me while
folks hovered over me.
So no, I don’t give blood.
Tubes and viles, yes– bags full, no.
This morning when I ventured to the transfusion center, I explained all of this
to the nurse who was going to be siphoning me off.
She assured me that once I was done, she’d replace the lost blood with
a bag of fluid.
I was in an area that had 4 sections, all with divider curtains,
where other folks were propped up in order to receive cancer treatments and the like.
In fact, the whole floor was divided into sections of fours where patients
all sat tethered to various bags or machines.
Each reclining chair had a TV if one was so inclined to watch.
I just attempted to catch up in blogland and with the news on my phone
using my one unencumbered hand—that being my left and
opposite of the one I am comfortable using–so it was more like fumbling
with a phone.
Since it was so early, I’d really not eaten breakfast.
I was told that that was bad and that I needed to eat the pack
of crackers they were shoving at me.
When she started draining me off, my arm was uncomfortable but I thought
no big deal, I can do this.
As I neared the end of filling the bag, I noticed that I was not feeling well.
In fact, I was feeling really really bad.
I think the nurse must have noticed this too…probably
because I was now drained of all color and I had jerked off
my face mask…as I kept mumbling something about thinking I was
going to throw up.
Immediately she flipped my chair back so far that I was practically on my head
as she quickly hooked up the blood pressure machine.
80 over 40.
Immediately she began administering the fluids.
Halfway through the bag, she brought my chair back up to a normal position.
When the bag was empty the BP reading was now 91 over 56…better
but not where she wanted it.
I had started at 124 over 64.
Another bag and 30 minutes later I was up to 110 over 56—
a number it seemed we both could live with…literally.
And off I went…with an appointment to return in December.
As I looked around me in that large room with lots of folks
hooked up to things for various treatments…I pondered things
larger than my little bag of blood.
Some of the folks looked basically like me, healthy on the outside.
Some were elderly.
Some moaned and winced in pain.
And so I thought about this countdown week if you will.
A week like no other that any of us has ever known.
A week of ominous anticipation.
Many are scared.
Many are fearful
Many grow both anxious and angry.
All the while falsehoods, vehemence, and accusations whirl through the very
air we breathe.
Yet what of all the folks all over this nation of ours, all in rooms similar
to where I sat today…folks hooked up to machines, being fed medicines
in hopes of offering them some glimmer of a future…a chance to continue
life as they once knew it before a disease.
Some will not survive their treatments.
Some will not survive their diseases.
Yet contrary to popular belief…we, meaning you and me,
will survive this election.
No matter who you vote for, the world as you know it will not cease nor
implode on Tuesday.
So quit acting like the sky is falling.
Satan feeds us fear…so don’t take it.
Oh, it might feel that life will end.
And it might get ugly before it gets better.
But you and I are not hooked up to a machine that is treating us
for a terminal illness…this election will not kill us—
despite what many of us are thinking.
A few weeks back, I read two different yet telling posts by our dear friend Oneta.
Oneta is a wise woman who is rooted in the Word of God.
I listen when she speaks…or make that, I take notice when she writes.
These particular posts of hers gave me much to chew on and a sense
Please take the time to read what she has written.
They are not long posts.
Remember God is always stronger than evil!
“Many things happen that God does not will.
But he still permits them, in his wisdom, and they remain a stumbling block
or scandal to our minds.
God asks us to do all we can to eliminate evil.
But despite our efforts, there is always a whole set of circumstances which we can do nothing about,
which are not necessarily willed by God but nevertheless are permitted by him,
and which God invites us to consent to trustingly and peacefully,
even if they make us suffer and cause us problems.
We are not being asked to consent to evil, but to consent to the mysterious wisdom of God
who permits evil.
Our consent is not a compromise with evil but the expression of our trust
that God is stronger than evil.
This is a form of obedience that is painful but very fruitful.”
Fr. Jacques Philippe, p. 33
An Excerpt From
In the School of the Holy Spirit