Might an affliction be a good thing? Well, yours maybe!
Eons ago the birth of my firstborn son was the equivalent of heavenly bliss. Even though going through the fiery furnace to have him had caused me to scream,” stop, I don’t want to do this anymore! Take it back!” I told my husband I hated him for doing this to me while he complained of the hard arm chair he had to sit on, poor guy was uncomfortable. I screamed and yelled and struck out at anyone who came near me, I slapped my nurse. Well actually I slapped her back. Apparently, she had become rattled at the commotion I was making and decided slapping me would correct my hysteria. I was not hysterical, I was 19! I was giving birth naturally to a breach baby who liked his home and did not want to leave its comforts. This was also the 48th hour of my body demanding it wanted to be rid of this little urchin.
Not your usual beautiful, engaging setting of pure joy, love and anticipation I had always envisioned. But that’s sort of the way things work for me a great deal of the time.
I should have been enraged at the doctor who saw me through this pregnancy and now this labor from hell, not my husband or the nurse. The doctor who did not inform me my baby was breach! The others were collateral damage in this labor of not so much fun and love. I kept thinking the doctor had medications, gas, and could end this horror if he just would. So I tried to keep the peace with him. I begged, and he would leave the room and tell me almost, you’re almost there. Where is there? I didn’t know how I got there and felt here should have been enough! But nooooooo, there, was still out there somewhere. There, where I needed to go was called 10, and I was stuck here at 9. Close enough in my mind, but nooooo. Not for Dr. Sortor and nurse witch with a b.
This is but One example of affliction for a beautiful thing. It was such a beautiful thing that I did it three more times. Three boys and one girl. All were breach but one. Lucky me. No, really, I was blessed since we were told that my husband might not have been able to have children. A Doctor at the VA Hospital in northern Alaska told him that.
Then in example two, this lasted 16 years for me and included that same firstborn son. Let’s call him Craig, cause that’s his name. When he was about two and an adorable little chubbiekin toddler, who took after his father in stubbornness and love of staying put, the affliction began. One of those kind that your child has but you would rather have it, to spare him. He began having seizures. Randomly. Scary as hell. After the first three which included ambulance rides to the closest hospital, where we were told repeatedly it must be from a virus. Neither the staff in the ER nor upon admission his regular pediatrician could come to any agreement on what was causing these huge spiked fevers out of no where. That set off a cascade of ugly things including grand mal seizures. On the fifth visit I refused to take him home with that so-called virus. I didn’t buy that excuse any longer, no one could give me an example of any other toddlers who went through this. Besides, I was scared, actually terrified. Terrified to leave him alone, no sitters or caretakers, terrified every hour of every day that it would happen again, and the last one the hospital staff said was a doozie. He should not have another one like that or permanent damage could occur. Or worse. What would you have done if it was your child? Well, I refused to take him home, and prayed and prayed. People were praying for us all over town. The doctor on shift that day was not happy with me. A young Mom being obstinate and demanding answers. Finally, when it was obvious we were really not leaving, a nurse brought in a form for me to sign waiving the hospital of any liability for putting my son through medical tests that were deemed unnecessary. I signed and the tests began. Within 3 hours I had a phone call to the nurse’s desk from the doctor. They found my sons problem.
Now part of me was tickled pink but the more he explained what they found the tickle faded away. It dissolved into black horror. Craig’s left kidney did not have a ureter. This as explained to me was a vital part of our anatomy. There was no way for the urine that the working kidney was making to escape. His left kidney, a balloon like organ they said was over inflated. And continuing to grow. It was now 3 times its normal size with infection. In my infinite need to find a solution to this problem I suggested they just put one in. A ureter, put one in, or a hose or tube or maybe ????? It was not possible, was the reply. (in 1964 medicine had not yet evolved into transplants, DNA, cells, organ exchanges or the like). The organ filled with infection could not be cut out, the risk of the infection getting into his blood stream was too dangerous. We saw specialists, I lost 40 pounds (18.14 kilogram), chasing between home, my parents home, to spend time with my little daughter and back to walking the hospital corridors. I hardly saw my new little daughter, and we were going broke. Praying now specifically. We were sent home with a long list of instructions, rattled psyches and a huge empty bottle to keep track of Craig’s urination proceeds to be stored in our refrigerator. Until early adolescence if he survived that long. And of course prescriptions more prescriptions and specialist appointments. We were to see that Craig had an IVP (intravenous pyleogram) every 6 months. We prayed.
To cut a long story short, (your welcome) Craig did not die, he still has that working kidney, and the urine it made from the day we first prayed specifically to Our compassionate Lord and Savior just disintegrated. That left kidney was still three times its normal size with the same infection since the day it was found. It hadn’t enlarged even more than it was expected to due to its adding more urine to it daily. Had that kidney not been working it could have been removed, but it was against all protocol to remove a working organ. Let alone a highly infectious one. He still had no left ureter to remove the daily urine. God’s answer to my why prayers, why don’t you just heal him? It was obvious to everyone familiar to this case that an outside force (God) was at work. Craig was a walking talking miracle. Doctors had been certain Craig’s growth would be stunted, he would be medically unsound and pick up every bug out there, and would have had to have that kidney removed by 6years of age at the latest. At the worst he would have developed a blood infection and die from the infection in that kidney. The AMA made a video at Milwaukee’s Childrens hospital of Craig at 13 years old. A case study at that years Medical convention. God’s answer to my prayer was the same to me as it had been to Paul when he had asked for his affliction to be removed. “My Grace IS sufficient for you”. So we were good with that. Until Craig was 16. By this age Craig was 6’5″ tall, and not ever sickly.(unless he was trying to get out of going to school). He pushed me at times to my limits in his physical stunts and athletic tendencies.
Craig was now asking to know why God hadn’t just healed him?. I explained that the last time I asked God about that again, The Lord replied it was so that #1 I would stay close to Him, stay on my knees and my love for my son would do that. I could be a prideful wanderer, so for my good I was afflicted. #2 reason was that when the time was right, and when Craig was ready He would heal him. Meanwhile, His Grace IS sufficient. When Craig was 17 he accepted the Lord as his savior. At his next IVP (yes he was still having the tests regularly) there was a perfectly normal size left kidney and a beautiful new gorgeous working left ureter. God had finished healing Him. In His time.
I learned how much God loved us by the affliction He allowed us to have. After all it was minuscule compared to the affliction His Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ endured for us. His affliction bought us A beautiful good thing. He paid for us Salvation’s price. He made us heirs to His Kingdom and Blessings. All we need do is ask.And believe.
Yes…….there is more. More afflictions, more miracles, more Blessings. Many in hindsight, which is always the best someone said. I don’t think I agree with that, but I get where it’s coming from. But to live in the miracle, in the here and now? Now that is best, or better or superior! IMHO. To follow in another post there is another. This ones with the number 2 son, (who by another miracle came into existence. Did you read the post about my Plantar Warts? That’s another one, it’s on my blog page. That story was the first encounter with affliction for good, you might say.
Let’s chat soon. If you enjoy these, or the stories of Art, Interior Design, Healthcare activism follow me and you will receive them as they come. Recently I have gone back to doing some painting and those will be found on the site also. At this time God has me quite afflicted and alone a great deal. He has told me it is part of the plan…so I am waiting. Not always as patiently as I should, pray for me it helps more than you know.