I don't cry a lot. I hate to cry. But if there's one thing I really hate it's when someone tells me not to cry. That happened last night in the hospital. I had yet another fever and an inferno of scalp lesions. I was feeling miserable and defeated as I took my night-time meds. Tears filled my eyes.
I've been in the hospital this time for 4 days. Another post-chemo infection with scalp lesions burns through to my skull. The pain is a 9 on a scale of 10. The tears inevitably spill down my cheeks sometimes.
"You need to keep a positive attitude," my nurse scolded. "That negative attitude is going to hold you back from recovery." I didn't have the strength to argue. "Are you a Christian?," she barked. I nodded yes -- still crying. "Have you been praying?" "Yes," I whispered. "Well then you need to pray harder! Quit that crying!"
I'm mature enough to have kept my composure realizing this exchange said more about her than me. But I really wanted to throw crushed ice in her face.
It got me thinking: How many times do you and I misrepresent God when we think we're just trying to help? Perhaps the best thing to do is talk less and listen more. Don't prescribe false formulas to get God's attention. Tell the hurting person in front of you she already has His attention. He sees her. He knows her hurt. He loves her. And I can't believe I'm actually saying this, but don't share Jesus when you're angry! That nurse was already in a mood when she started "encouraging" me. I personally think it's better to let an opportunity pass than to turn someone off to God simply because you're in a funk.
So, back to my crying. Here's why the tears were rolling and specifically what I need you to pray about ("Pray Harder, People!!!!," just kidding):
I was admitted to the hospital on Wednesday because of scalp lesions and fever. It's been determined these scalp lesions are a side effect of chemotherapy. This will likely happen to me every time I have chemo. Thankfully I only have two infusions left, but this is unbearably painful. Now it appears the rash has turned into a staph infection. Today I had a biopsy on my head to give an official name to the bacteria.
Imagine having a third degree burn on your head and someone jabbing needles all through it. Add a high fever. Now add that the infection is not responding to antibiotics. That's where I am right now. Pushing morphine every two hours. Stuck in isolation until my biopsy comes back. And waiting for an antibiotic that will work. I'll probably be in the hospital through next Wednesday. And they're talking about sending me home with home health care. (My condition is that serious.)
I'm still believing God for complete healing and many answered prayers. I don't know why I have to suffer in this way, but I do know He still loves me and I completely trust Him. Please pray for me. And pray for that mean nurse, too.
It's my party and I'll cry if I want to,
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. - 2 Timothy 2:15