The early morning last Thursday started with this text to my family and friends:
"Please pray for me, my bladder is pretty bad today, already contacted my dr. Please pray I don't go into a flare and can calm this down."
I have Interstitial Cystitis, a chronic, painful bladder condition. Nothing is worse than a flare, which is likened to stage four cancer pain. My flares usually last two to three weeks. I was at the beginning of that pay early Thursday morning. My Mom came over to talk to me and I was already having trouble talking. I hadn't had a flare in a year and a half, and as always, I was shocked at it's speed and severity.
I rarely eat out. My diet is limited. I follow the Specific Carbohydrate diet but even that diet is more strict for me as I can't have dairy, honey, most fruit, certain spices, certain nuts, and the nightshades that are allowed on the diet. I bring my food wherever I go. I don't mind. I really love the food the LORD has given me to eat for the past four and a half years. It's my "manna", and I am very thankful for it. It keeps me healthy and able to take care of my husband, my nine year old daughter, and help with my eight grandchildren. (Two more grandchildren are coming, one and day now!)
So how did I get into this oncoming flare? I got cross contaminated. Even to the best of my ability this can sometimes happen...even in my own kitchen. I know I have a small window of opportunity to ward off a flare, so I immediately emailed my doctor, asked family and friends for prayer, started eating all my safe foods and drank copious amounts of fresh ginger tea. Then I set to work on my house. It was 6 am and as I worked I kept thanking God for everything I could think of while praying over my body. Thanking God that school hadn't started yet, so I wasn't homeschooling my daughter that day. Thanking Him I was not on a trip that we planned, which got cancelled. Thanking Him over and over for so many little things and so many big things He has done or is doing.
My Mom used to say "Laine, you can only have room for one thought at a time, make it a thankful thought."
I was thankful my routines were in place. I knew what to do next in my home without even thinking about it. After I made my husband breakfast and saw him off to work, I tidied and dusted the living room, fed the cat and the dogs, headed to the bathroom next and cleaned the counter, mirror, and swished the sink and toilet. I made my bed, put away any clothes, and dusted my room. I had vacuumed the house the day before, so I was happy to forgo that. I checked two other rooms and made sure they were in order, then I headed to the kitchen. I put away any clean dishes, washed our cups from the night before, tidied up anything on our table and desk, then quickly set about to making scrambled eggs, a vegetable soup that always calms my condition (I think I've shared that recipe before) and lentil bread with avocado on top. I needed to eat everything quickly to stave off this oncoming flare. By that time my mom had come over and wanted to help, so she put on a load of laundry for me. I put a roast in the crockpot for dinner in the evening. My little daughter, Lucy, watered all my potted plants and my garden for me and then tidied her room. And my oldest daughter, Abbie, went food shopping for me as we had planned to do that together that day.
Between thanking God over and over and praying over my body as I worked, I also have a manta the the pain intensifies. "Don't think about it, don't think about it, don't think about it!"
"My help comes from the LORD, which made Heaven and earth." Psalm 121:2
The rest of the day I ate a lot of my vegetable soup and ginger tea. My doctor emailed me back that morning, so I immediately started on the protocol she gave. It really helped a lot.
I am so thankful to say, I never went into a full flare. Thanks be to God!
"I was brought low, and he helped me." Psalm 116.6b
Our granddaughter is due and day now. I am so thankful to be able as I will be watching their three children while my son and his wife are in the hospital. I watched all their three kids for two and a half weeks while my son was away and my daughter-in-law was bedridden early on in her pregnancy. I didn't know if my routines would work with four children 8 years and under in the house, while homeschooling two of them, and of course, all the added mayhem of family life. But they stood the test!
And, again, I was so thankful I had my routines in place to keep my home running smoothly. It has taken me years honing them to the point that doing the routines in my home are like going for a walk. I don't think about it, I just walk.
"Don't think about it, don't think about it, don't thinks about it!" Whether in pain, or with a bunch of kids in tow, I just keep waling by His great, great grace.