Last week at this time, my throat felt a bit scratchy. So, I stayed home from church and rested. I knew I was going into a busy week and hoped to keep any sicknesses at bay. But, by Sunday night I began running a high fever that continued on for the next couple of days. It was hard to miss work because there was a lot going, especially since we had our Easter Chapel coming up at the end of the week. But, I kept taking medicine and kept resting, with high hopes that I would make it to the first rehearsal on Wednesday.
On Tuesday afternoon I was feeling better and I ordered lunch to be delivered. I walked down my stairs, got some drinks at 7/11, and read a book on kindle while I waited for lunch to be delivered. It was very hot, but I was feeling so much better than I had been and thought I was doing fine.
Suddenly, I felt dizzy and lightheaded. So, I found a step to sit down on. And, the next think I knew, I was waking up, laying on my back and surrounded by people who were wiping blood off of my face and trying to get me to wake up. They were so kind as they held tiger balm under my nose, bathed my hands and feet wtih ice water, and fanned me. Someone handed me my phone and I was able to call my daughter, Shaina. School had just finished and Shaina was able to get on her motorcycle and get to me in just a matter of minutes.
Shaina and Will drove me to an ER where all kinds of tests were ordered...partly, to try to figure out why I had fainted and partly to determine the extent of my injuries. So, there were EKGs, xrays, blood work, etc. I felt so grateful that there were no fractures on my face, just abrasions and bruises. My lip needed five stitches and I had a big knot on the side of my head.
One of the tests came back positive. Covid.
I was shocked.
It was my first time to have covid and I had not been aware at all that I had covid. There are so many emotions around having covid, and I found myself so concerned about anyone I had been around, especially those who had cared for me when I fainted.
But, I guess the good news about the covid diagnosis was that it seemed to answer the question about why I fainted and they didn't do as many tests on my brain and heart as they had first planned.
I was at the ER for several hours before I was free to go. The Gills were very kind to take me to their house for a couple of nights so I didn't have to be alone as I recovered.
My abrasions and stitches kept healing and I felt better daily from being sick with covid. I knew that as soon as I had a negative covid test that I wanted to go to the dentist to get one of my teeth checked that had gotten knocked loose in my fall.
All week, even though I had been sick, uncomfortable, and embarrased, I had felt like I was able to trust God and rest in Him...with my injuries, with covid and with Easter Chapel happening at school without me. Even when I discovered I had lost my sense of smell and taste, I still felt carried along in His grace. People were so kind with messages, cards, calls and flowers. On Friday, I received wonderful messages about how Easter Chapel had gone...a reminder to me once again of how we often see God's strength when we are weak. Even though I hated missing it all, I felt at peace.
But on Friday afternoon, when I ventured out to the dentist, I wasn't prepared for what I would hear. My front tooth is already an artificial tooth (thanks to an incident when I was 14 years old) so I thought it would be a simple matter of tightening it back up or replacing it. I wasn't prepared to hear about the extensive damage to the tooth, deep inside the gum. I wasn't ready to hear the conversation about the amount of work that it would take. As the specialist explained some of the options, I felt like I hit a wall. I couldn't take in what all she was saying as she detailed all that needs to be done.
I felt anxious and overwhelmed and knew that I couldn't make any decisions in that condition, so I chose to return home. As I've tried to process this news this weekend, my head still seems to be spinning, but I am making progress at facing this reality.
I wanted to invite you into my thinking and invite you to pray for me. I've never been a good dental patient. And, there are feelings of inadequacy and insecurity when it comes to this large front tooth right at the front of my mouth.
Also, it is going to require time and money. And, of course, there will be pain involved.
As I thought about how out-of-control I feel, I think about life on this earth and how much of it we simply can't control. I had no idea that I would faint on Tuesday. I had eaten protein on that day and had plenty to drink (and the electrolytes in my bloodwork showed that!) I was trying to take good care of myself. But, for whatever reason, I fainted. And, that reminds me that I cannot control my life and make it happen just like I want it to (a lesson that you would think I would have learned many times over by now!!!)
My favorite verse this Easter season has been from 2 Corinthians 4:10: We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may be revealed in our body.
Carrying around death is no fun...death of dreams of the way we thought life would be...death of security or control.
An awareness that our bodies will fail us and will die.
Even death of a root of a tooth.
But, even as I mourn the losses in my life, I also want to stop and think about the life that I carry in my body.
The life that comes from Jesus...the resurrected One.
The One who brings beauty from ashes.
New life from old stumps.
Do I trust that He can bring something good even from extensive dental work? Even from pain?
It's a challenge.
I am weak. I want to run from thinking about it and from facing the pain.
But, denial won't help.
So, here I go.
Another dental appointment today and facing the fact that there will be many more to come.
But, choosing to believe that the One who has the power to defeat death will be walking along with me.
Would you join me in praying that I would see His life and power even in this process?