Thursday, April 10, 2008

Prayer Requested

This week was supposed to be a week off for me to spend with my family in Alberta following our VOMC conference in Edmonton last weekend. The conference, itself, went wonderfully. We had our largest attendance ever. The crowd was responsive to the message of our speakers and contributed approximately $20,000 towards our projects of helping Christians in Orissa, India after the riots in late December. Our staff was left with a keep sense of thankfulness to God and to those who attended and excitement as we look ahead to the future.

I, unfortunately, had a less successful weekend. I arrived in Edmonton on Friday night quite tired and during the night erupted in itchy hives all over my body. I was able to make it through the conference even though I was rather run down but my colleagues more than compensated for my inadequacies. I went to bed that night hopeful for a good night's sleep in anticipation of speaking twice the next Sunday morning at Northgate Baptist Church.

It was not to be.

I woke up at about 4:30 am with an even worse case of hives than before. I began vomiting and was dehydrated, confused and suffering shortness of breath. Even in my confused state, I knew that I was in trouble. I asked my hosts if someone could take me to the hospital.

I was admitted to the ER rather quickly (it helps move things along if you are vomiting in the waiting room) and the medical staff began treating my symptoms aggressively. It was apparent that I was suffering some sort of allergic anaphylactic shock. Getting the symptoms under control, they rehydrated me and prescribed some medicine to me that they thought might help and I was discharged.

For the next 24 hours, things went not too badly. I went to my parent's home and enjoyed spending some time together. The hives faded some but not as I had hoped. Late Monday night, they struck again with a vengeance. I spent the entire night itching furiously. I awoke at 5:00 am to find my entire body covered with hives even worse than before. I was not going through the other symptoms yet but decided that I needed to get home to doctors who really knew who I was and whether this was related to my stem cell transplant. I booked a flight to Toronto online and within three hours was winging my way back. We went directly to Princess Margaret Hospital where Dr. Lipton prescribed even stronger medication than they had back in Edmonton for what they agreed was an allergic reaction to something (who knows what).

I am glad to report that I am feeling much better now and that the hives have virtually disappeared. But I am disappointed, of course, that I had to cut my time with my parents and brothers short. I am glad to be home, safe and sound with my family, but I had really hoped that I could do something "normal" like having a vacation for once without my health becoming an issue. I confess that I feel a little angry about that. I have had to cancel so many plans in recent years or curtail my activities because I just don't feel well. I wonder sometimes how I am ever supposed to fulfill my calling with a body that just won't hold up when I need it to. Is God trying to say something to me or is this an attack from the enemy designed to discourage me and diminish my trust in the Lord? I don't know right now. I do know that God uses weak vessels just as He used us last weekend in Edmonton. But from time to time I would like to have a less eventful life in regards to my health.

I would appreciate your prayers as I look ahead to a planned trip in early May to Europe to visit a number of our sister missions and other contacts that I have not been able to see for a while. I very much want to make this trip but after this last incident, there are those who are urging me to reconsider. Your prayers for guidance would be appreciated.

1 comment:

Cheryl of the Wilds of C said...

I was at the conference in Edmonton and had no idea you were feeling as poorly as you were. I'm sorry you had to cut your vacation short and I will ask the Lord to bless you with good health, rest, and fellowship.

The conference itself was deeply moving and I left longing for more. I saw profound beauty in the Bride of Christ that day.