Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ben Casey? Dr. Kildare? Can you hear me?

I've never -- that I remember -- watched an episode of ER. I couldn't remember the name of Grey's Anatomy until I looked it up. My kids will be asking, "Who?" but where are Casey and Kildare when I need them?

I went to bed Tuesday evening with an unhappy stomach. "Unhappy" turned downright mean in the wee hours of the morning. I had cramps bad enough to want to cry out (I know I'm a wuss) and apparently I fought them by tensing up about every other muscle I could think of squeezing. This morning, the stomach was somewhat settled, but the muscles hurt -- oh, they hurt!

When I was a kid, I was prone to high fevers. Toward the end of high school, I was happily on my way to a perfect attendance award. (It was a huge accomplishment because I missed chunks of Jr. High home sick.) I can remember sitting in one of my favorite classes and the aches were zapping me. I finally put my head down on the desk because I couldn't keep it up. My teacher was Mrs. Hollinger, an old family friend, and she told me I had to report to the nurse's office.

By that evening, I was delirious and my fever was spiking to 105. I was sick with the flu for several days, perfect attendance was gone and... oh, well.

Fast forward to the last few days of Basic Combat Training in the US Army. About 5 days before graduation, I got sick. I had been on sick call a few weeks earlier and discovered that, according to army medics, some cough syrup and plenty of bed rest (yeah, right!) would take care of just about anything. What got cured was my desire to go on sick call. Maybe that was their purpose!

Here I was sick and getting worse each day. I didn't want to go on sick call because I had the privilege of student-leading our platoon and would march in a special place as part of the graduation ceremony.

I almost passed out on the parade ground at dress rehearsal, but doggedly kept going. I made it through the grad ceremony and, while most of my unit went on a pass into town, I went to bed. Finally, after dark that night, I went down to the day room and talked to the young Drill Instructor who had duty. He immediately got a couple of guys to escort me and sent me to the hospital across the street.

A medic came out, gave me the "what kind of duty are you shirking?" look and stuck a thermometer in my mouth. He pulled it out a couple of minutes later, walked out of the room and came back in with a mask on his face. Uh-oh. Whatever I had, he didn't want. It was serious enough (just a bad case of the flu) for them to admit me to the hospital for the next three days. It's another story, but that hospital stay changed my assignment for my next school and made it possible for Cathy and me to live off-post. We couldn't have done so in my original unit.

Our church got very sick about 10 years ago. At the time it felt like a terminal illness, but turned out to be a bad case of the flu. By God's grace, that sickness actually improved our overall health.

I write this in the late afternoon. I'm still aching, but no fever. I think I'll feel much better tomorrow.

Cancel the Dr. appointment!


addhumorandfaith said...

I like your comparison between a person's health and a church's health.

I remember Chuck Swindoll one time comparing troubles in a church to a storm shaking a tree. During the storm, the healthy leaves hold on tighter, and the dead leaves fall out and makes room for new growth.

Our church had serious problems about 10 years ago, and I truly believe, in the end, we were better for it. We had had to hang on tighter to the God and His word, the trunk, during the storm.

C. Beth said...

I guess Chickie comes by her high fevers honestly. I still remember watching the numbers go up and up and up on that digital thermometer, when she was 3 1/2 months old, before they finally stopped at 105.4. Talk about mommy adrenaline.

It's been a joy to watch your church thrive after the pain of that sickness.

I pray you're feeling better too. Wish you could be here; you, Chickie, and Zoodle could recover together; at least you'd make each other smile.

beckiwithani said...

I hope you feel better! I'm glad you at least don't have a fever. Those high fevers where every nerve your skin is just screaming out are one of the most awful feelings. But I've had one of those stomach bugs twice in the last month (it's the bad part of teaching 7th graders -- youngest kids in the school always bring all kinds of new viruses in at the beginning of the year), and those are ALSO one of the most awful feelings! Mine only lasted 24 hours apiece. Hope yours are the same.

Change-of-seasons always seem to bring out all of these illnesses in people. Our bodies just don't deal that well with the transition. I'm sure you can apply that to your church analogy, too!!

Sam said...

Thank you for your beautiful word picture, Sandra (addhumorandfaith). I am encouraged.

Sam said...

To both my daughters, well said!

Beth, don't panic with Chickie's fevers, but don't take them lightly either. You probably know better than I do, that the fever is actually bad stuff leaving the body.

Becki, within a few more years you may be the most immune person on earth! 7th-graders can do that to you, I hear.

Mentioning the change of seasons is great insight. Thanks.