I was visited by my archenemy this week.
- Despite receiving two bags of Vancomycin in the hospital in November after my left hip replacement.
- Despite taking a low dose antibiotic every day since the August 2015 infection. Apparently, the daily antibiotic is not strong enough to hold back the bacterial growth. So warding it off is no longer a viable theory.
The bright side is that I don’t need to take a daily antibiotic and worry about the increase susceptibility of MRSA. I won’t have to gripe about taking the two different probiotics nor the $80.00/month expense. The dark side is that it strikes suddenly and quickly at the most inopportune times in my life. One moment I am going about my day with gusto and vigor and the next I start to hurt, swell and the enemy has reared its ugliness to the point of fever, chills and nausea. It’s like carrying a 20 lb. bowling ball that’s breathing fire out of its finger holes. It’s hot, heavy, hurts and exhausting.
So the battle begins again.
Get high dose oral antibiotics on board as fast as possible to ward off sepsis and try to get into see the Infectious Disease physician to start daily IV antibiotic infusions for 2-3 weeks. Treat the symptoms, kill the bacterial infection, get my energy back and try to live life while I wait until it threatens to poison my body again.
With a heavy heart I realized that unless the medical community can find a miracle drug to permanently vanquish my foe, I will be plagued with this vicious cycle of infection for the rest of my days on earth.
“Pity-Party, table for one, please”
The question is: Do I have the strength to spend the rest of my life fighting this foe along with the plethora of battles such as cancer and heart disease? And if so, how?
Have you ever had an enemy that just wore the “stuffing’s” out of you? Maybe it’s not a medical issue. Maybe it’s a job you feel locked into. Or an addiction you have been battling over and over again. Eating disorders, alcoholism, drug addiction – all relentless in their pursuit to destroy life as we were meant to live. Maybe it’s a human foe, a coworker, a neighbor, a family member. How do you cope?
While whining to my daughter (God bless my daughter), she told me about the late Steward Scott, ESPN anchor who received an award for perseverance at the Jimmy V Cancer Foundation Awards Ceremony. The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State basketball coach and ESPN commentator. It awards 100 percent of all direct cash donations. She suggested that I listen to his speech.
And here is what I learned from this amazing man in answer to my question:
“Don’t give up, don’t ever give up” – quote from Jimmy Valvano.
“Fight like hell. And if you get too tired to fight, lay down and let someone else fight for you.” – Stewart Scott. Doctors, nurses, friends, family and most important God are there when you don’t have the strength or fight left. For this journey is about the people that touch us and those we touch.
Pray to God for discernment, have faith in what is unseen and goes beyond common sense to live life wholeheartedly.
Hold onto hope. Biblical hope is when we are completely secure in God’s hand in this world and the next. It means that while this moment in life may be a roaring and raging fire (or infection) our balm is the hope that God is in control. Hope fills our minds and hearts with what we are longing for. And there is power in the imagination of our heart and minds.
Since viewing Stewart Scott’s speech I have been meditating on two verses. Proverbs 23:7: “For as he think in his heart so is he.” And Isaiah 40:31 which tells us “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow wear, they will walk and not be faint.”
And that brings me strength.
While I cannot promise you I won’t ever whine to my daughter again, I refused to wallow in self-pity for very long. I will whine, cry, and them get up and not give up. I will take a page from Stewart Scott and live my life to the fullest and with a happy heart. And if in the end my physical body succumbs to this adversary, I’ve not lost. I will have avenged my nemesis “by how I lived, why I lived and in the manner in which I lived.”
“I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from my enemies” – Psalm 18:3
Click on the link to listen to the full acceptance speech by Stewart Scott. https://youtu.be/Yl_0ieqSi7Q