Sunday, January 20, 2008

THIS IS NOT FUN


Yesterday, someone wrote this in the Comments Section:

"Kristy, I love seeing your family and hearing you reminiscing, but we need to hear how you are doing now. What is the latest? I felt more connected to your situation when you or Milton wrote about how your day or night was. How you felt physically and emotionally, what skills you'd gotten back. Please let us who are praying for you and love you know the latest and greatest! Because we all know God IS GREAT! Love, Bonnie"

***

Okay, here goes...

I've had this blog title ("This Is Not Fun") floating in my brain since Friday night, but I ignored it. But when I saw this comment, I decided to give you an update on me, something I find hard to do. In my life of ministry, I've always focused on other people and their needs, not my own.

As you can see by the time of this post, it's church time, yet here I sit at the computer writing. I'm here because my head is aching too badly to get dressed. Every step I take jars my head and makes it pound harder. And I'm nauseated. Except for the two Sundays following my brain surgery, I've been in church. It's my source of inspiration and joy and strength and renewing.

But today, my head hurts too badly. I could've force myself to ignore the pounding, get showered and dressed, and go. I've lived my life that way. Church, God, God's people...those have been so important to me. Not feeling well on Sunday morning? You have responsibilities, so you have to go, I've told myself. You have to fulfill your responsibility.
It's a good way to live. And God has blessed me for putting the things of the Lord first.

But today, well, let's back up to Friday night...

The conversation between Milton and me turned to the awful days in the hospital when I was incoherent and irrational. My sodium level had dropped drastically low, and the doctors later told me if it dropped one more point, I was in danger of dying. The pain in my head was so cataclysmic, my hourly "IV zaps" of morhpine weren't touching it, and I was begging for morphine around the clock. The effects of the anesthesia were still in my body. All of these things, plus my sleep deprivation, were making me raise my voice and do crazy things.

When the nurse told me I had to have a CAT scan (to see if there was bleeding in the brain), I refused, for hours and hours. Here I was, one of the most compliant people ever created, and I was adamantly refusing a much-needed CAT scan. My family, who were around my bedside 24 hours a day with love and helpfulness, didn't know about the sodium drop at that point, nor did the doctors.

"You must have a CAT scan," the nurse said.

"Patients' rights," I yelled. "I want a patient advocate."

The small flashbacks I have of that nightmarish time make me weep because THAT WAS NOT ME. THAT WAS NOT KRISTY DYKES.

All day, my family tried to talk me into the CAT scan, yet in my foggy, pain-racked, post-surgery-brain-swelled mind, well, I don't know what I was thinking. Yes, I do. I wasn't thinking. Pain was making my decisions.

Another factor came into play: the doctor had told me I had to have an MRI 48 hours after surgery. While they were trying to get me to have the CAT scan, I got it mixed up with the MRI. I'd had two MRIs in the last three days, and with my claustrophobia and my irrationality, I didn't think I could handle another one. For an MRI, they put you in a long, narrow tube that almost touches your nose, and for an hour-and-a-half, you feel like you're either under a jet, or, you're sitting right beside a person beating an iron gate with a hammer. The noise is that bad.
Finally at the end of the day, I had a lucid moment when the nurse said, "The CAT scan will take about eight minutes," and I submitted. Fortunately, it showed no bleeding in the brain.

But that night, because of the patient load, they took me in for the MRI about 1 or 2 a.m., after an evening of nervously waiting, waiting, waiting. Milton was with me, holding my feet, and the MRI was awful. I was cold and had asked for a blanket, but about 20 minutes into the MRI, I was sweating, and the blanket felt like a boa constrictor, and the technician had warned me not to ask her to stop, so that the MRI wouldn't drag out, and again, in my crazed thinking, I thought I was dying. Even Milton said it was the loudest MRI I'd had.

The next few days, still incoherent, I was saying and doing irrational things, like pulling off my hospital gown. I was a crazed woman.

***

Yesterday, Saturday, was a blue day. Blue outside with steady rain and black skies. Blue inside as flashbacks and dark thoughts consumed me.

I had a desire to sew, so I pulled out my small stack of mending. A button put on. A "spang-dangle" sewed back on a pretty shirt. A tablecloth re-sewed whose seam had come apart.

While I sewed the tablecloth, the thought came to me: Why are you sewing a tablecloth? You're never going to entertain again. Why are you wasting your time on this?

I wish I could report that I stood on the Word of God and had a moment of victory as I quoted, "The weapons we fight with are not like weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive EVERY THOUGHT TO MAKE IT OBEDIENT to Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:4,5).

But scripture didn't come to me.

But what DID come to me were the everlasting arms of Jesus that held me all day as the hospital flashbacks assailed me.

And they held me as I made the decision to go to a special-called prayer meeting in a church member's home and get prayed for.

And they're holding me now.

***

A little while ago, my daughter Jennifer called, and when I told her about the headache which was much worse than the others I've had for a couple of weeks, she reminded me that the doctor said my last week of radiation would be my hardest. That brought some explanation.

***

Rethinking, the scripture I referred to earlier (2 Corinthians 10:4,5) actually DID come to me during my blue time yesterday. It was there all along BECAUSE I COMMITTED IT TO MEMORY. It was living and breathing and ALIVE inside me, and the fruit of this was when I made the decision to NOT stay home and brood, but instead, to go to a prayer meeting and be surrounded by faith-filled folks.

***

Now, I'm going to lie down.
In His everlasting arms.

18 Comments:

At 12:30 PM, Anonymous Nicole said...

Kristy, you're brave, courageous, and honest. Please continue to let us know the ongoing struggle. We will pray and pray.

 
At 2:35 PM, Anonymous NanaTrish said...

Thank you for sharing with us, even when you have a terrible headache. We have grown to love you and I'm praying for you now. May His love continue to surround you. May you have some wonderful rest! Love ya, Trish

 
At 2:47 PM, Blogger Kristy Dykes said...

Thanks, Nicole. Thanks, Trish. What sweet comments. I appreciate them.

 
At 3:14 PM, Blogger DayleShockley said...

Thank you for sharing your struggles with us, Kristy. You are in my prayers daily. We serve a great big God. He is in all of your tomorrows, so you need not fear today.

Suffering has a way of bringing out the best in us and I believe that we are closest to God during our suffering, for it truly makes us in fellowship with Jesus Christ. It was Paul who said, "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his suffering, being made conformable unto his death." In my experience, I've learned things in the harsh winter seasons--about myself, about others, about God--that I would never have discovered in spring.

Your courage and faith in God is such an inspiration to all who read your blog. It is a living testament of what it means to totally trust.

My devotional this morning was about sorrow and how it shapes us and marks us. One passage said "Blessed is sorrow, for it reveals God's comfort." One of my favorite passages of scripture is 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. In some of my darkest hours, these verses have ministered to me.

I honestly believe that you will only come out of this time of suffering stronger and more beautiful than ever.

Sorry to ramble on; just felt like sharing.

 
At 4:21 PM, Blogger Kristy Dykes said...

Thanks for sharing, Dayle. YOu shared some wonderful truths.

As you said, I totally trust the Lord.

 
At 4:21 PM, Anonymous Carrie Turansky said...

Dear Kristy,
Thanks for sharing so honestly from your heart. I am praying the Lord brings you comfort today as you rest in Him. This morning as I was singing in church the Lord brought you to mind, and I wondered if you were able to attend church today. I sensed that you might be at home, and I prayed that the Lord would minister to you there and not allow your heart to be discouraged if that was the case.

I know, being a pastor's wife, like you, how much you love to partner with Milton and share in the ministry with him. I understand that longing and I am praying the Lord will renew your strength and allow you to continue in that vital role. I know he appreciates you so much and misses you when you are not there with him, so I am praying for him too.

I will continue to pray as you move into this last week of radiation, that it will be effective and be used by the Lord in your healing.

I'm sending love and prayers,
Carrie

 
At 5:23 PM, Blogger Karen Eve said...

Kristy,
You are daily in my prayers and I thank you for sharing your journey with us, the good days and the bad. Please continue to let us know how you are doing so we know how to pray. The memories and other shares are wonderful too, but we are easily distractable people and can forget the real battle that is going on for your life. I'm believing for 100% fealing for you and will be praying for your quick recovery from all the radiation treatments.
It is amazing how much treasure that you have here on earth, and if we all truly look at our own lives, our treasure may be different, but much of what we take for granted on a day-by-day basis is treasure. We all need to value what we have in our time here on earth and let those around us know their value to us.

Daddy God - as you hold your daughter Kristy tonight, sing over her with love songs and comfort her and blanket her with your peace. Hold her Daddy and pour your healing balm over her and heal her. Hold Milton and their daughters too, and the rest of their family and friends. Give each one a double portion of faith and grace for all the days ahead. Thank you Daddy God that you love your daughter and her family so much and that you will never forsake them or let them go. Be their rock Daddy. Amen.

Blessings to you and yours,
Karen Wevick

 
At 5:41 PM, Blogger Robin Bayne said...

I am sitting here sniffling and blowing my nose--have no helpful comments. Just praying.

 
At 5:45 PM, Blogger Kristy Dykes said...

THank you, Carrie, for your encouragement, and your discernment that I needed extra prayer today. You heard from God.

Thank you, Karen, for that beautifu prayer. "Sing over her with love songs," you said. What a wonderful thing to pray.

 
At 5:47 PM, Blogger Kristy Dykes said...

You know, Robin, my prayer since the beginning of this, in November, is, "Lord, let my life count for You. Use me in whatever way You see fit." Your comment, along with many others, is confirmation that He is answering that prayer.

 
At 6:46 PM, Blogger Pam Meyers said...

Oh, Kristy, I just wrote a long comment and then a prayer that the Holy Spirit prompted me to pray for you and I hit some dumb button and the whole thing disappeared. I'll try again.

Thanks for sharing your update. My friend, Ed, asked me this afternoon how my writer friend with the brain cancer was doing. I realized at that time that I really hadn't had an update of your physical condition in a long time. We all appreciate your honesty.

Heavenly Father God, be with this dear sister, Kristy, during this most courageous of battles she is enduring. Cover her with your feathers and hold her close during this last week of radiation. Let her know your comfort, your joy, your everlasting hope. To you be the glory and honor, in Jesus' precious name, Amen!

That was not the same prayer, but God knows what those words were and I'm sure He is honoring them.

Hugs and love,
Pam

 
At 6:54 PM, Blogger Kristy Dykes said...

Thank you, Pam, dear writer friend.

 
At 8:18 PM, Blogger Margo Carmichael said...

Hi, Kristy, praying, praying to our faithful Father who knows the end from the beginning and works it all out for the best. Praying, "Lord, you said, 'Let us reason together.' Lord, I respectfully remind you, you said, 'With His stripes, we are/were healed.' Lord, I stand in agreement with you for Kristy. With His terrible stripes, Kristy is healed. Yes, yes, yes!!! In the mighty name of Jesus, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Savior, Healer, Friend! Thank you, Lord!"

Love you, sweet thang,
Margo

 
At 8:45 PM, Anonymous Mary Jo said...

Dear Kristy,
Thank you for the update on your progress. I enjoyed seeing your family's "old" pictures - brought back a lot of memories when we were growing up at Southside Assembly together. Your family is very special and means a lot to us. You and family continue to be in my prayers. God has brought you to my attention numerous times throughout the day and night. The Lord is so faithful to lay you upon the hearts of many - as those who write in have attested to.

Kristy, you're a real special person - called and set apart for God's will, plan and purpose.

I love you, Kristy. You are very special to me.

Love,
Mary Jo John

 
At 9:58 PM, Blogger Kristy Dykes said...

Mary Jo! I enjoyed your comments. We go back a long way, don't we? Growing up in church together. Going on youth outings or witnessing-for-Christ adventures.

"You're a real special person - called and set apart for God's will, plan, and purpose."

Thank you, Mary Jo, for those SPECIAL words. They ministered to me.

 
At 5:04 PM, Blogger Anna said...

Hi Kristy -

A friend told me about your situation and asked me to put you on my email update prayer list. 121people from the United States and Canada receive this newsletter.

While I'm not dealing with anything nearly as serious as you are, I underwent brain surgery to remove a benign meningioma tumor on January 9th. The whole MRI, CT Scan, steroids to prevent brain swelling scene is still fresh in my mind. All the anesthesia and drugs can do a number on your state of mind.

When I entered the hospital, the Lord brought a Scripture to my remembrance. It's Isaiah 26:3. I hope it encourages you.

You're in my prayers. Thanks for allowing us to see your day-to-day struggles and triumphs. We can pray more effectively as a result.

 
At 6:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am reminded of Peter and his reaction when told by the Lord to "Come" and walk to Him on the roiling water. Matthew 14:29. At first he was standing and walking on top of the water (because later scripture says he began to sink)so, his faith, that this was truly the Lord, was there. But as he realized that all around him the wind was boistrous, "he began to sink". Have you ever stepped out of a boat to wade to the shore? You don't begin to sink, you immediately go to the sandy bottom of the lake even in a calm water. That Peter didn't immediately sink says to me that he still had faith even in that dark hour of the night, the Lord even said Oh ye of "little faith".It only takes a "little faith" for a mighty God.

What was so wonderful was that Jesus immediately pulled him up.
He didn't make Peter flounder and think that he was going to drown, his mighty hand was right there when needed......And It is there for you too, Kristy.

Right after Peter demonstrated "little faith" they went onto shore and many miracles of healing were witnessed even by those who just touched the hem of Jesus' garment. Keep walking Kristy!! Keep walking!!!!!! I love you....Anita

 
At 12:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, Kristy, for honoring my request, especially with that horrible headache. Today is Thursday, four days after you replied to my request. I've been super busy, so I'm just catching up with your blog, but still praying daily for you. Now - I'm onward to catching up on the last few days. I hope you'll be saying they were headache-free. Much love, Bonnie

 

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