March 12, 2019

Sunrise from my window

I do not like pain. Well, not usually…

Today so far has been a pain in the butt. The new going theory about my pain in the butt is that I may have an abscess right by my tailbone. And it hurts.

I also started off the day at 5 am with a nosebleed. Nosebleeds are not fun and can be prickly, painful, and drawn out when the platelets are low. Here are this morning’s lab numbers:

  • Hemoglobin: 7.2 g/dL (normal range is 11.6-15.6)
  • Platelets: 9 K/uL (normal range is 169-370 k/uL)
  • Neutrophils: 0 /uL (normal range is 1700-7500 /uL)

I’m up for some transfusions soon, but until then, I feel worn out and headachy.

A delicious breakfast of crêpes filled with fresh raspberry compote. Sadly, the compote looked exactly like the blood clots coming out my nose. Not so appetizing any more? Yep. That’s what I thought too.

The good news…

We’re 95% sure I get to keep the port!!! The Infectious Disease department is still working on getting a more pointed antibiotic for the specific kind of bacteria that was infecting the port. They want to find one that could be administered as an outpatient. As it is now, I’ve been put on a new antibiotic called Piperacillin and Tazobactam. This should help should I have an abscess too.

Why don’t they know for sure if I have an abscess butt? My immune system is completely ramped down, so things like swelling won’t always happen. The best one can do is give antibiotics and check back when the immune system starts kicking in again. This should be about 2 weeks from now.

A letter from my 8 year old. How could I not cry?

How I deal with pain

Hope is needed in abundance when stuff hurts, and as I watched the sunrise my hope was renewed with these thoughts: In Christ, all the bad things are used for good, all the good things are eternal, and the best is yet to come.

The truth is, sometimes I like pain. Suffering has a way of demonstrating love like nothing else can… I know this from the movies. You know the hero loves her because of what he gave up for her. If he never suffers, does he care about her at all? Maybe- but it remains undemonstrated until he suffers for her cause.

That’s how I felt about giving birth to my kids. I didn’t want the darn epidural (well, I did a little bit). But what I wanted more was to feel like I was demonstrating my love for my new baby. If any of my children ever ask me “Mommy, do you love me? Did you want to have me?” I can honestly say “I wanted you so much… when you were born I went through some of the worst pain. It felt like I was being torn apart… but I would do it all over again just to be with you. It was a small, small price to pay for such a gift as you.”

There is NO reason anyone would chose to suffer unless the good that comes from it is more valuable to them than the suffering.

What good is coming out of my pain in the butt??? Well… I’m not sure yet. I didn’t chose it. But there’s a promise in the Bible that I’m clinging to with all I’ve got. It says that God will work all things together for the good of those who love him. I trust my God… there must be something incredibly valuable for him to allow me to go through this. I’m excited to see what it is. I’ll keep you posted. I’ll also take the pain meds.

A dress from a shopping spree my dear aunt Hope sent me and her daughter on. Wrap dresses are perfect for port wearing and IVs… and feeling pretty!

11 thoughts

  1. Oh Heidi you are amazing! Love the letter from James!!! Love you too! Hugs (which I can’t give because of thus lousy cold!)🤧


  2. Wow (with slightly different intonation for every paragraph and picture of this post). And thank you for sharing. And continued prayer for all these things. I look forward to meeting you some day. For now, I have the unfair advantage of knowing Jenna and seeing so much Jenna in you. Or maybe it’s the knowing Jesus, whose Life is so evident in you sisters and expressed so profoundly through the gifts of writing He has given you so similarly. Psalm 27:13-14


  3. That dress is beautiful. You look beautiful. I’d never know you have an abscess on your biscuits! My daddy & Poppy were surgeons in practice together. I learned a lot from them, and a lot of it was medically appropriate, for obvious reasons. Whenever I was complaining or having a pity party for myself, Dad said, “you are not sick. You are not in pain. Be thankful.” Because you are in pain, I’m in awe that your faith is more powerful. Your gratitude is astounding and is exactly what will persevere. It’s 1 thing to be taught, another to actually do it. You are very wise. Now my Poppy, in regards to pain, said, “don’t be a hero.” I’m very thankful for pain meds too!
    That letter is precious. I will be praying that your innocent babes will have freedom from pain (& fear) too. I suggest that they are fully aware of the “pain in the butt” situation and are encouraged to discuss freely. There’s nothing more fascinating or funny to kids than butts. Laughter-another amazing drug. A good laugh has such healing power and is contagious in the best way. Ask them to remember Momma’s butt problem in their prayers. I sure will!


  4. Wow…. James is much more aware than I realized, but, my oh my, how articulate!! A future writer?? What a beautiful letter to treasure 😆 …indeed children are a blessing, just as you and your sisters are such a blessing for your dad and me.

    I remember how exhausting physically and emotionally pain can be having “been there, done that” back in Zaragoza…. but not anywhere close to what you are experiencing. I love the hope in Paul’s words in II Cor 12:9-10:

    “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

    May God hold you up by His almighty power and strengthen and encourage you in ways that can only be explained by His loving care and supernatural touch!

    Abrazos y besos en abundancia 🙇


  5. Heidi! You are sparky and your light shines so brightly even
    the pain and discomfort. Praying for those numbers to come up where they should be.
    Stay strong. But don’t be afraid to cry some too.
    Love you!


  6. Heidi! You are sparky and your light shines so brightly even through the pain and discomfort. Praying for those numbers to come up where they should be.
    Stay strong. But don’t be afraid to cry some too.
    Love you!


  7. Heidi!!

    I’ve been following your blog. First and foremost, thank you for having the courage to share. Thank you for sharing true feelings and thoughts and details. Your stories make my heart flutter. Thank you for telling us specifically what to pray for–prayer chain in small town Sumter AFB will continue to stay fired up!

    Meanwhile, you asked us to share things with you that might make you laugh or smile. This is small, but perhaps it will give you something to read and chuckle next time you’re laying there waiting for medicine or need to kill time… So there I was at work after one of those nights–you know the kind, when your two year old is up and down, crawls in your bed and after the umpteenth time of returning him to his bed, you simply cave and let him lay across your face to sleep…so I’m at work, staring at my computer screen and am totally brain-dead thinking “you need to do something”. COFFEE, that’s it, make yourself a coffee Justine! So I walk over to the Keurig, insert the pod, hit the start button, and stand there as the Keurig pours all over the floor in the office. Still, I continue to stand there and just stare. My mind says, “hmm something doesn’t look right” and yet it took about a minute and a half into it until someone walked over and exclaimed “hey! you don’t have a coffee mug under the machine” Duh.


  8. … sooner or later? blessed are the pure in heart ❤️ also never have I ever been so excited someone got to keep a port


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