Monday, June 23, 2008

Counting or Cursing

Feeling rotten today. And not because rainy days and Mondays always get me down. They don't. Besides, after a few days of storming, the sun is partially out today, to be replaced by more storming tonight. The humidity is low, though. That's all I care about. There's a reason I spent fourteen years in the desert. But, I'm loving the rain forest that Ohio is; the greenery is beautiful!

I awoke with a migraine at 3 a.m., and chose not to take any Excedrin. The type I take has tylenol and 64 mg. of caffeine. The caffeine keeps me awake, so I usually try to wait until morning to deal with the headache. Bad decision this time. My head pounded so badly I never got back to sleep. I took the Excedrin at 5:45 a.m., with little relief (you have to treat migraines as soon as you feel them), and by 7:00 a.m., I had to call my husband home from work to take care of the children. He had only been there an hour. I hated doing that, since Don had just spent six weeks picking up slack, in his off-hours, due to my morning sickness. Increased migraines are another unpleasant side affect of my recent pregnancies. Though sympathetic, Don gets mad at God regarding them. He's been praying about them for the whole nine years we've been married, to no avail. I understand that anger, totally, but I don't share it.

Surely, one of the hardest things for Christians and non-Christians alike, is having to wrestle with the fact that God doesn't always heal. And that he allows children to suffer....parents to watch their children die....ships carrying 740 people to go down....massive destruction and death from all kinds of weather. And that's only a fraction of the suffering on earth. Can that be the work of a loving God? Can there be a God?

The Apostle Paul had an unhealed, on-going ailment.

Apostle Paul: "Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12: 8, 9

Apostle Paul: "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." 2 Corinthians 12: 9, 10

I grasp these passages...the message contained therein. I try to live it. But the headaches affect the whole family, including our unborn babies, due to the Tylenol and caffeine. My OB doctor assures me that, as long as I follow the dosing instructions on the bottle, the Tylenol will not affect the baby. Of course, regarding caffeine and unborn babies, the jury is still out. There is reason to worry.

I have control over how I react to the headaches, but I don't have control over how my husband or children react to them. Husbands and children love wellness, especially when it comes to the lady of the house. This is an understandable, but sometimes inconvenient fact of married-with-children life. It hurts when, as a woman, we can't always deliver this.

My job, I suppose, is to pray that, despite headaches reducing my ability to parent and be a helpmate, my husband and children will still actively look for God's grace - that they will be counters of blessings. Yes, there is suffering to dwell on, to grapple with, but there is also grace and blessing. We get to choose whether we spend our time counting the blessings, and reveling in His grace, or cursing the suffering.

Writing this is my reminder to myself, of these truths.


Betsy said...

Wow, Pam. You're writing is really getting so so good lately. This post really flowed and engaged. I'm sorry to hear about your suffering. It isn't fair you should have to feel the pain of your headaches as well as the anger of your mate and the guilt of simply being a mother and not being perfectly perfect, healthy, ready and willing all the time. I wouldn't stress about the caffeine and occasional pain relievers. Letting yourself suffer won't help that baby any.
By the way, I was born on Dec. 20th(1965). I just saw that that is your due date:)

Liz said...

Hi Pam... I'm so sorry to hear about your migraines. I too, have suffered from them for many years. It was much worse when we were going through infertility treatments, but that time also helped me to learn how much hormone fluctuations bring on the migraines. A couple of things that have helped me get through a day or night that seem like they would be okay during pregnancy are taking magnesium tablets and using one of those gel-like cold packs on my head for about 10 minutes at a time. With the magnesium, I take a 500 millegram tablet at the first hint of pain and then another within an hour. This often zaps a headache and just stops it in it's tracks.

momma's heart said...

Oh, Liz, thank you! I will check the magnesium dosage out on the web or call the doctor about it. I do think it would probably be okay. And, yes, I too have noticed that hormones have a lot to do with it. I am hoping when menopause hits and estrogen levels goes down, mine will go away.

Thanks for stopping by!

And Betsy, thank you. I wish it was just occasional pain relievers. I sometimes have to take 2 to 6 Excedrin a day in my second trimester. It is a huge worry, but I am powerless to do anything about it. There is no one to really step in and take over with the kids on a frequent basis.

Emily seems to have turned out fine, despite the tylenol and caffeine use during my pregnancy with her, but it is early to tell, at only 18 months.