When a middle C sounds like a dying elephant…

“Miserable and Alone” sounded too dramatic for a title. It’s  that time of the semester where everyone is hacking up a  lung, and somehow in my lack of social contact with my peers… I came down with the sore throat/cough as well. As much as I would feel better if my boyfriend were to stroke my head and cuddle me, I don’t want to get him sick. Sigh. He’s probably already been infected by the college students who don’t know how to cover their mouths or wash their hands.

I was counting my blessings that it was just a cough… and then I came home this evening with a fever.

Now I’m thankful for being forced to go to sleep instead of pulling a late study night!

I’m  concerned my physics exam tomorrow morning may crush me like a bug under Thor’s  hammer… but let’s  look for the optimistic lining!

My voice teacher and I have been trying to schedule a makeup time for a lesson we missed, and I had to text her to cancel because I could barely whisper, and I was singing the low notes I can never hit with ease. And the Bullfrog Award goes to…

Insomnia struck suddenly and not-so-quietly this past week, so I began taking benadryl when going to sleep. Usually it’s a pill, but I’m  hoping the liquid benadryl I have in my cupboard will soothe my irritated throat. Some cough gels were thrown in, too, in the hope that I won’t  cough in my sleep and further inflame my throat. Fingers crossed for a pleasant morning, 8-10 hours of sleep, and an A on my physics test.

Maybe  I’ll  have to settle for dreaming about that exam, though.

The Lord Fought For Me

Christmas and New Years at home were exactly what I needed. I won’t lie… I think I slept for a week straight, and then spent another week in bed. I felt awfully lazy, but my body was crying for the rest I kept it from during the semester. Phew.

Christmas was a normal Christmas: the guys worked all day, mom and I spent the day at the office, and then we opened gifts at 9PM. Yay. Still, I was blessed to have a day with my mother and fewer interruptions than we normally have!

I thought I was fine with my diagnosis. I really did. It was rather a cut-and-dry situation: have surgery, recover, graduate, begin grad school. Bam, bam, bam. What I found out when I didn’t have school to distract me, though, was how deeply I was disturbed. Never have I had so much fear sitting inside of me.

One night I began to watch pituitary macroadenoma surgeries on youtube…. but that got a quick kabosh! Nooo… no, not gonna do that! I’m not squeamish in the least. Blood and guts? No problemo. Seeing up what could be my nose in the near future? No thank you!

(Also, as a side note, I found out that I have an aversion to nose hairs. shudder!)

It was really difficult to process because I felt like no one understood; but I wasn’t actively reaching out to people to talk my way through it because I felt that I’d already bothered everyone enough. No, no, no. Bad idea. Don’t go down that road.

Bless his heart, my boyfriend handled an emotional explosion quite well and saw it for what it was: not about anything I was spouting off about, but the fear under the surface.

On the 8th I had an appointment with (I’m told) the premier pituitary neurosurgeon in the region, and he told me that I had been misdiagnosed. The posterior pituitary stains poorly for MRIs, and the anterior lobe stains brightly. Someone mistook the posterior portion as a tumor.

… Isn’t this your day job? 

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

 

 

There is no brain tumor.

 

No tumor, no surgery, no recovery, no nose hairs. Praise. God.

The tumor never explained the symptoms that I’ve been experiencing, so with that checked off the list we’re going to continue to pursue the real cause. I have an appointment with a cardiologist in a little under two weeks to do some more tests.

God is faithful. I just have to remember that.

The Lord Will Fight For You (Exodus 14:14)

As I was scrolling through my phone to find something to update my sad little instagram with, I found this saved to my hard drive.

image

“The Lord will fight for you.”

It’s such a POWERFUL thought, and yet how often do we pause to consider the overwhelming magnitude of such a promise?
On a lighter note, it makes me think of Genie from Aladdin: “….COSMIC POWERS!”– but God’s living space is hardly “itty bitty.”

In this particular verse (Exodus 14:14), the Israelites are terrified because they feel stuck in a hopeless situation. The Egyptians are closing in, the comfort of stability offered by slavery has been taken away and the Israelites have ONE JOB: to fear the Lord and trust Him. To be honest, they’re not good at it. Their Trust-O-Meter is constantly on the low end of the spectrum, and in the surrounding verses they’ve turned on Moses. Why didn’t you leave us as slaves?! Why did you take us out of captivity?! ……. It’s easy for my jaw to drop.

*Really*? Are you joking? Someone gets me out of a dire situation and I’m all about kissing feet!! … At the same time, though, I get where they’re coming from. Although not the best situation by any means, slavery left few unknowns relative to wandering in the desert… and relying on a mysterious pillar of cloud/flame as THE ONLY set of directions must have been unnerving at best! I am guilty of this.

As a control freak, I struggle with the “God, why do I have to deal with this unknown in my life?” trust issue. Patient, loving Father that He is, God takes my hand and leads me back to this verse time and time again. Some days I struggle deeply with the medical diagnosis, and this verse is a comfort. 》》THIS IS NOT MY BATTLE.《《 The God who created everything is willing to fight my battles for me if I will only stop struggling and fighting with Him. If I will be still, and follow a cloud/flame meekly I will hear that it is not my battle to fight alone.

My God is mighty (Job 9:19)!

Results

No cancer where we were looking! Yay!

I wasn’t alone for my MRI, but I was alone when I went to talk to my ENT to discuss the results from the MRI. And then I had to go straight to my Physics lecture.

My doctor knew I was more-or-less able to understand medical terminology, so he just spouted it out:
“The good news is, there is no cancer. Nothing is wrong with your inner ear, or the nerve, or the cerebellum-pons angle. There is, however, a suspicious mass in your pituitary.”

The phrase “Pituitary Macroadenoma” is a scary one. [Brain organ] [something scary sounding]. Awesome.

Let’s dissect it.

The pituitary is a smaller organ in the middle (….ish…) of your head (base of the brain) which controls the production and management (more or less) of the hormones in your body. I’ve read different textbooks, but generally the diameter is explained as being about half an inch. This is a prime example of the adage “size doesn’t matter” since the pituitary is, in a word, important.
Macro is just what it sounds like — “BIG.” (Think “macroeconomics” vs. “microeconomics”.)
An adenoma is a benign tumor that normally occurs in glandular tissue. The pituitary is a gland (a gland secretes something).

About ten percent of the population has this tumor and never knows because it never causes a problem. If I were to guess, we’re talking about a microadenoma. (The micro/macro line is drawn somewhere… google if you want to know for sure.)

The bottom line is this:
It’s a large brain tumor, relative to the organ that it is inside of… but my God is bigger.

I’m taking a deep breath.

“Blahblahblahblah brain cancer blahblahblahblah.”

You know how in the Peanuts cartoons, the adults all talk in nonsensical sounds and the children can understand one another perfectly? I had a moment like that recently.

Because of the feedback that I get in one of my ears when I’m in a large crowd, and because of the whole falling-down-all-the-time nonsense, I made an appointment with a local ENT. He said what I already knew — that the outer and middle ear looked fine — and told me what I kind of expected to hear — that he wanted me to have an MRI to check out the inner ear.

“I’m pretty sure it’ll come back negative… but I want you to have an MRI to rule out cancer.”

In the brain.

And then you pay the cashier, get in your car, and drive home. Right? Awesome?

No, you actually bravely hand over a check (because your insurance is stupid and won’t pay for out-of-state “nonemergency” care), lock yourself in you car, and call your mom … and cry. Yep, I’m 23 and I called my mom crying.

But then you suck it up and drive home because even though the doctor says he’s certain it won’t be cancer, even that’s all you’ve heard, life hasn’t stopped. You still have work and obligations and research due at midnight. You also have people who love you dearly. And if you can hold it together just long enough to get to them, you can get your hug.

But then you decide you don’t want to bug anyone with your problems (MISTAKE. You’re not bugging them!!) and so you take on this burden alone. And that’s how you end up crying in the hallway of your apartment. If you’re dealing with this… don’t try to do it alone.

God is good. God is good. God is good. God is good. God is good. God is good. God is good. God is good. 

I went in for my MRI today, and although I had someone in the waiting room, it was still daunting. Nothing really prepares you for an MRI if you’ve never had one. There’s clanking and banging that, at first, sounds like a really sick beat line for some hip hop music. After two MRIs, though, it’s just annoying. At first I, who hates  hip hop music with a passion, created tunes in my head because my technician didn’t offer to put any music on, but I ended up falling asleep a few times. A) it helped pass the time, and B) I was really, really sleepy. No claustrophobia here!

I guess we’ll see what happens. God is good. I’m just going to keep saying that, because the hope I have in God and the trust I choose to have that He will use this situation for His glory… however that may happen… is the only comforting thing in all of this.

I am scared. God is good.

Happy Birthday to me… Sigh. :(

It was a full day! And it was a good birthday… just not exactly what I had in mind. I think I need a week to introvert.

Mr. Boyfriend had to be out of town, so he brought me roses and made an afternoon picnic earlier this week. Cue awwes. Before he realized he had to leave town, he had already accepted an invitation to a Murder Mystery party… and then found out it was my birthday. Oops. So then I got an invitation; and he left town.

No cake. No song. No worries…right?

 

After I got home tonight I realized that despite my exhaustion… I still wanted to spend my birthday with the people I’m closest to. Dressing up as Miss Muffett was a lot of fun, but not exactly what fit the bill. Oh well.

 

PRIOR to all of the party shenanigans, I spent my morning and lunch hour interviewing at Texas Tech University HSC for the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program.

 

I was the last person to interview. It was good on one hand because it allowed me to talk to the students and get a feel for a program — and to calm my own nerves –… but on the other hand, I realized belatedly that perhaps I hadn’t broken in my shoes as well as I thought. Oops.

I feel like the interview went well! It went on a lot longer than anyone had told me it would, but I think that’s because my interviewer spent twice as long answering questions I had about TTUHSC/the DPT program as he did asking me questions. I had a few prepared, but things just kept coming to mind. The program begins in May of next year, so I’ll find out at some point between now and then whether or not they’re going to accept me.

 

Blame my cheekiness, but I was waiting for an opportunity to tell them an acceptance letter would make a really great birthday present. ;)

2nd Swing – Ring By Spring? (Not a chance.)

We sat on our second swing today on campus — cue biting nails!! (Not really.)
If you attend LCU, then you might know why this is a “big deal.” There’s a bunch of superstition surrounding couples who sit on the benches around campus; “three swings, get a ring.” Christian colleges have their own idiosyncrasies, and you just sort of have to roll with them. (Even if your eyes roll, too.)

I know for a fact that it’s not even on the horizon right now, and definitely not for at least two years (he’ll be finished with his bachelor’s while I’m in my last year for my doctorate) before being engaged is a possibility. We’re both pretty firm on the idea of not getting married IN college. Yikes.

We agree that we need one of us to have an income so that we’ll be able to support our little two-person family before we jump on that bandwagon. If we can’t, then I honestly think we have no business being married. It’s going to be hard enough learning to adjust to living with someone “new” and figuring out the whole marriage thing without dumping financial woes on top of it. Anyway, we’re just enjoying the stage we’re at right now. No need to rush things. :)

It strikes me often how very thankful I am for the young man God chose to throw my way. He’s emotionally mature (as long as the conversation doesn’t involve the Lego movie or SpongeBob) and stable; he’s mature; he’s exactly what I asked God for when I prayed for someone who would be willing and well-equipped to be a spiritual leader in a relationship; he’s tall…. oh, he’s tall! (but I’m 5’3″, so I guess anything is tall to me); he’s a can-do sorta guy; he’s a hard worker; he’s smart. He’s also really funny and social… and he laughs at my jokes, which really aren’t that funny. Points for him!

What a blessed girl I am.

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