Friday, July 10, 2009

Cross My Heart and Hope To Die

Part One
Last year Dave and I visited Trinity Christian School in Hawaii for a stint of teacher training that they asked me to do. What an honor it was to teach this sweet family of teachers. Their school is large, but they are still a family. What impressed us most about Trinity was their heart for the Kingdom of God. Their school is a ministry of the church. When families are in need, they try to care for those needs. And there are a lot of needs in Hawaii. The folks at Trinity recognize how strategic their location is; it is paradise after all. They have a vision to help other schools as the Lord allows. We have been involved in classical and Christian education for 15 years and have been so encouraged by what God is starting to do in Asia and in other parts of the world. Can you imagine how many schools in Asia would be blessed to have a training facility as close as Hawaii? Right now, if they want training, they have to travel a great distance, which might arouse suspiscion. But who would question a vacation in paradise? This was our immediate thought when we began to see the potential at Trinity. We mentioned it to them and they told us that a guest house was one of their long term goals. Our thought? can we make that happen sooner? Dave was smitten and wanted to move...but I was hesitant. How could I leave?

Part Two
I noticed that my heart was acting funny several months before going to Hawaii. I had several trips to the hospital, some in an ambulance because of high blood pressure. I struggled significantly with my asthma and my heart was beating so loudly I thought everyone could hear it. I made an appointment to see a cardiologist. He doubted the validity of my concerns, but he scheduled some tests to be done upon returning from Hawaii. I struggled to keep up with Dave's mountain hikes in Hawaii. That was frustrating because I have worked out for years. None of these things made any sense to me. When the tests were all completed and the results were in, the cardiologist told me that a virus had attacked my heart and its function was reduced by a third. This explained the palpitations, the high blood pressure and asthma symptoms. He told me he wanted to implant a defibrilator and that I'd need a heart transplant later. Not exactly good news. He put me on medication that put me on the couch. It was scarey for all of us. And it was one of the best things that ever happened to us. I began to ask myself if I was ready to die. Was I happy with all that I had accomplished? Was there more that I wanted to do? My answer? No. I wasn't happy. I wanted to do more. To say more. To give more and to be more involved with actively building God's Kingdom. I began to wonder if God was nudging me to change my mind about moving to Hawaii.

Part Three
I became frustrated with my cardiologist. It seemed like he was more interested in doing procedures (which earn big bucks for him) than he was in working with me to understand and manage my heart disease. I found a new doctor who was far less interested in freaking me out and more interested in helping me to manage my new meds and get back into the game of life. Since starting the meds, I have found that my asthma has improved to the point that I don't even need an inhaler when I work out. And my heart is fine. My blood pressure is great. But as I got better, Laura got sicker. She became so sick last fall, she could not get out of bed for days and days. Her symptoms kept changing so we kept thinking it was one virus after another. Eventually, we began to worry about Lyme Disease. Her doctor agreed and treated her. We thought it was over. Then it all happened again...but her doctor wouldn't treat her with an antibiotic again. He wanted us to see a Lyme Specialist. We weren't sure...Then one Sunday, Laura woke up unable to move her legs. She said they were heavy and she couldn't will them to walk. We went to the hospital. They ran lots of tests and had no answers, so we went to the specialist after all. He ran lots of tests, too, but he had answers. Laura has Lyme Disease. She's had it for years. It is probably the reason that she has struggled with nerve pain (seems to run in my family). It found her weakness and worsened it. Her circulation was also affected. She struggles to stay warm and she is likely going to continue to struggle for a long time. Lyme Disease is extremely resistant, especially if untreated for years. The antibiotic is helping but she needs a milder climate to help her overcome this disease. It occurred to us that she wouldn't struggle to stay warm in Hawaii. Now I was sure that God was nudging us. How could we not listen?

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