Anxiety, doctor and tests

Whatever I do and whenever I do it, there is always a part of me considering fear and victory and what follows. Not my own fear, though I have that to battle, but as a mom I am guiding my daughter whenever she looks to me. And she always does. I find myself envious of the parents who have “normal kids”, whatever that means.

This morning my girl complained about a sore throat and she had a slight fever. Learning how to overcome fear we sometimes need to face it (and sometimes not).  So I took her off school and headed for the doctor. She is afraid of the doctor… It’s never nice is it (unless it’s my adopted father in faith who is a doctor 1 1/2 hours train ride away) and the cold isn’t serious but I decided to show her that doctors doesn’t always do tests and “uncomfortable” doesn’t need to equal “fear”.

In the waiting area immediately before seeing the doctor, she suddenly turns away from me and looks down at the floor whispering “I’m so scared!”. Her breathing made it obvious that the pulse was pumping faster than a racetrack horse!

Of course I wanted to tell her all is well and she will be just fine, but instead I asked her what the worst thing she could imagine would be. She feared the test… Because she tried it a few weeks back when she had strep throat. Instead of saying “I’m sure you won’t need a test”, I covered her with my arms and told her that I didn’t know if a test would be needed. It of course didn’t help her… She feared more and her face turned pale and her heart was racing… She has seen a doctor for 9 years now. It will never be comfortable but it isn’t something to be feared to this extent. As a mom, I can’t help thinking how she will cope with life in the future.

The doctor didn’t do a test. Her relief was instant and obvious. Her cold is a mild one as I suspected but my goal was to show her that it isn’t always uncomfortable to visit the doctor.

Afterwards I asked her how she felt about it before and after the visit and if she could focus on the feeling that came after, the next time she had to go see the doctor. She just said “No, I will feel scared again”.

I feel like I did nothing good and instead of easing her mind while she was locked in fear in the waiting room, I made it worse.

With anxiousness, there are so much to loose and everything to win. I can’t really ever know if my efforts are right. But at least I’m trying. Everyday I look to God asking Him to carry us both through the day… And He does. My girl felt relieved today. I can only pray that next time she will remember and choose to trust the relief – and that God is with her.

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The best Doctor knows…

The good doctor has the knowledge needed, to know how to handle physical illnesses and how to guide a person who is going through troubled times due to more or less severe deceases.

The best doctor know all this too… But is in addition able to put his or her own heart into it, knowing that Jesus will carry the burden. Regardless of the patient having faith or not, a doctor who walks with Jesus and will listen to the Spirit and obey, will always be able to give any patient that little extra support needed and I believe that in this age, it is needed like never before.

Sometimes it’s just not the patient’s own illnesses but the circumstances of life that weighs down and makes everything that much worse, causing stress and anxiety and the best doctor will be that great listener who takes the time needed to respond with the right response. Perhaps a patient need explanation on an illness a parent is suffering from. Perhaps it’s a word of encouragement that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe the patient just need a gentle touch. A pat on the shoulder.

I have the best doctor in the world. No kidding.

He first of all loved and prayed me all the way to Jesus – so right there you have my deep gratitude and affection for him. Next, he continually shows me how to love like Jesus. A constant inspiration. He taught me a great deal about prayer, just by praying for me holding my hands (he does that with most of his patients, not just me). It’s a spiritually healing touch. He supported me through the worst of the stress and anxiety times. He is available on the phone 24/7 and saved my girl when she had a bleeding stomach, so we could go see my sick dad 10.000 km away.

I wish more doctors would take their time with each person and give them a healing touch. My doctor is so special to me in so many ways. I love him so dearly.

Unfortunately, his clinic is about 2 hours travel from where we live now. But I still go… Now you know why.

Yesterday I took my daughter there. Her cold was turning into something else and I suspected asthma. With the circumstances in my life and my GAD, which my doctor knows all about, he also knew that I needed him to give my girl a thorough check-up, including stomach check etc. And obviously he did. Thankfully she did not have asthma, but a sinus infection. After the “doctor-stuff”, he holds my hands and prays for me, my family, my dad, our spiritual health and physical health. His prayers are so powerful that it feels like all the knots in my heart unties and they literally flows out of my eyes and down my cheeks in the form of tears. He knows that a mom with a sick kid needs as much attention as the sick kid! He knows that a daughter with a sick dad needs as much support as the dad. He knows that a wife with the life of a single mom needs prayers for her husbands salvation and their marriage. Jesus supplies the best doctor with the empathy only the Holy Spirit can give. Every time. With every patient. In any circumstance.

Praise the Lord for my wonderful doctor.

– Oh, and did I mention that I left his office yesterday with a present from him: coffee. He sure does know what a heavy burdened heart needs.

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Leave the past in the past – Philippians 3:13-16

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There are 3 things God is working out in my life right now: Worship, relationship within His body and the death of my mother.

My mother was a “suburb alcoholic”. She had a full time job and was a full time wife and mom and cook and maid… and she never had an easy life. She wasn’t a drunk hanging out on the sidewalks or sitting on park benches with a bottle of something. She was a hardworking woman who enjoyed alcohol a bit too much. She had a choice. During my childhood I don’t remember her being particularly nasty or drunk, but during my teens I do remember how viciously evil she could become in her words especially when alcohol went in and took over. She couldn’t control her drinking and it became her death.

On the night she died, the ambulance came around 4 pm after she had vomited blood and she fell to the floor drifting in and out of unconsciousness. She was taken to the emergency room and received blood… But the doctors couldn’t stop the bleeding. After several hours of trying to save her life, she was taken to the ICU, where a kind nurse was wiping away her blood as it came from mouth, nose, ear – every hole in her body. They put her in a respirator and on sleep inducing painkiller.

I got a shock when I saw her. She didn’t look awful, but with 7 needles in her hand I couldn’t hold it. So I pushed my hand underneath hers. I knew that her life would end. They woke her up so we could say our goodbye’s… I told her I loved her. She couldn’t answer me because of all the tubes, but her eyes spoke and I’m grateful for that moment. After a bit they put her back to sleep and her blood slowly ran out of her body. I was wiping it away as gently as I could. The life ran out of her and I was wiping it up. My brother asked the doctor if it was cirrhosis of the liver and he nodded.

The doctors told us that it would be a miracle if she made it through the night. They put words on it. I remember that sinking feeling and I asked my dad “what happens if she does make it through the night?” – and his answer was “then it will be a miracle if she makes it through tomorrow”. She didn’t make it through the night. About 3 hours later, at 1 am, she drew her last breath and the machine went silent. But those 3 hours lasted… for what seemed like a lifetime. Watching someone – a loved one – bleed to death is tough. You know what is coming so you want to hang on. Yet, you know what is coming so you want it to be over with fast.

After her death my life seemed to stop and I couldn’t understand how the world could continue. It took some time, but I eventually came to terms with my mom’s death. I forgave her for choosing continually to drink even when the doctors had told her to stop (yes, she knew, but she had kept it quiet). We learn to live without our loved ones and it is now 11 years ago and some months.

My mom was not a believer. At the time, I was not a believer either. I so wish I had been though! If I had just had my Jesus during that time, I would have had something to hang on to and trust. A never ending strength and love… But I didn’t. In my family there is a tendency on my moms side to depression. I am not sure how far back it goes, but I know that my mom’s dad had it (who died very young somewhere in Berlin during WWII), my mom had it and turned to alcohol and her brother had it and turned to a gun ending up shooting himself (suicide). I have it too. But I will be forever grateful that Jesus came and picked me up and though I may have struggles, I will never need alcohol or a gun or anything else besides Jesus.

But recently God has brought my mom up again and I knew there was something I had to deal with but I didn’t know what. After all, it’s 11 years ago and I am okay with my mom being gone. But – when a friend shared how God was working the grief of loosing one of her parents out in her – I found myself sharing my moms death with her. Which is something I rarely do. Yes, she’s dead. Yes, she was an alcoholic. Yes, we learn to live without our parents. But… I suddenly realized that I had not come to terms with the way she died. The blood, the tubes, the needles in her hand. I have had some weeping days and this time I am allowing myself to cry. When God shows you that there is still pain in your heart, He wants to heal it. So I am pouring out my pain to Him.

I wanted to share with all of you who actually read this blog, where God had me open my Bible this morning and the words jumped right at me. I know Paul is not talking directly about dealing with grief and loss and trauma, but still;

Philippians 3:13, 15-16 (GNT)
13 … the one thing I do, however, is to forget what is behind me and do my best to reach what is ahead.  –  15 All of us who are spiritually mature should have this same attitude. But if some of you have a different attitude, God will make this clear to you. 16 However that may be, let us go forward according to the same rules we have followed until now.

And God spoke; “leave the past in the past”.

I definitely have something I need to deal with and then leave it at His feet.