Two Friends – One Fear

I recently spent the day with two friends in two separate hospitals.  And yes, it was one of those days when you wish you could be in two places at once.

My first visit was to a friend who had a reoccurrence of her breast cancer and had just had a mastectomy.  I received a text the morning after her surgery that her drains weren’t draining and she feared that this might cause infection, lymphedema, and possibly another trip to the operating room.  She was thinking the worst and praying mightily for the best.  Shortly after my arrival the surgeon came in, inspected her wound site and took the tubing and literally pushed the blood clots along the tube and into what I like to call “the grenade” (the little ball that collects the draining blood).  Voila! The drains were back at work and my friends face began to relax as the doctor told her she was doing very well and could go home!  Amazing.

My second visit was to my friend who had a stroke.  This, too, was amazing as she had little to no effects from the stroke.  She was called “The Miracle on the 9th Floor”.  Other than being tired, she had full use of her extremities and while being 84 years old and a little forgetful, her faculties were fully functioning.  But her fear was strong.  In reviewing all the tests doctors could not understand how she could have suffered a fairly significant stroke without any ill effects.  They were sending her home without an explanation as to why she had the stroke.  Her feared that a stroke would reoccur and this time…  Nevertheless, she was discharged.  When she had her follow up with her general practitioner, she discussed her concerns and the fact that she had no energy and her legs were like weights.  An EKG showed her to be in a-fib. Atrial fibrillation is an irregular and often very fast heart rate.  This may cause symptoms like heart palpitations, fatigue, and shortness of breath.  Treating atrial fibrillation is important because it may cause a stroke.  A-hah!  The cause of her stroke!  My friend was readmitted and medication given to help eliminate the A-Fib.

Two women, two hospitals, two different diagnoses with one emotion – fear.  It came with a side car of worry.  Fear of what could happen, fear that it would be worse, fear of an uncertain future.  There is a saying that says: Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday that never happened.  More often than not, our worries do not come to fruition.  We spend so much time worrying that we exhaust ourselves even before any challenges are presented.  But how do we not worry?  I personally feel like I have a Ph.D. in fear and worry with a minor in negativity.  I have spent a lot of time thinking about Murphy’s Law – you know what I mean?  However, the longer I live and the more medical issues I face, I have learned to depend on God rather than succumbing to my worry.  Oh, I still manage to spend some time there, but more time is spent living by faith.  When fear and worry begins to bubble up inside me and threatens to overflow like lava; I remember to put my trust in God.  He is with me through any obstacle. Life may not always be smooth and it might be downright painful.  But with God there is light for the challenges.  Without God, only darkness prevails.

Philippians 4:7 tells us Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

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