“In God alone there is rest for my soul, from him comes my safety; he alone is my rock, my safety, my mstronghold on that I stand unshaken”. (Psalm 62)
Recently, and totally out of the blue, I experienced a mild stroke, officially known as a TIA. In reflection, it was all so surreal. On the day it happened, I hopped out of bed to make a cuppa as is my morning routine. I felt perfectly OK, although a little sleepy, not having slept well the night before. I remember tossing and turning most of the night as rain and wind lashed noisily against my bedroom window.
I settled down with the Lord, my daily readings and my cuppa. However, feeling tired, I read only for a short while before hopping back into bed. Sleep did come eventually. Later when I woke, it was then that I felt a bit ‘strange’. A sense of heaviness seemed to be enveloping me.
For some unknown reason, as I lay in my bed, I stretched, raising my arms above my head. I noticed how the fingers on my right hand were curling over ever so slightly. I do not know what possessed me but I immediately called out to my husband that I thought I was having a stroke. I believe that was the first instance of God immediately taking control of the situation and so I did not feel afraid.
Initially, I was taken to our local hospital before being transferred to a major hospital.
Trent, a young ambulance paramedic was so caring and comforting. On the journey to the hospital, he shared much about himself and especially how he and his wife were expecting their first baby. I sensed, too, how he was encouraging me to share some of my life history with him. Perhaps, he was checking on me to make sure I was still with it! I remained very calm, relaxed and at peace.
Once settled in my hospital bed, however, there was no longer a moment’s peace. Test after test was carried out, right through the night, and over the next few days. As I drifted in and out of my initial hours of discomfort, unable to lift my head from the pillow, I was very much aware of never feeling alone.
All the discomfort I experienced was more than compensated in the knowledge I was in God’s hands plus all the tremendous, loving and patient attention I received from every medical person who cared for me, especially the nurses, or angels as I called them.
One of the many tests I underwent involved my first experience of an MRI. I was carefully prepared as to what to expect, especially the strange noises! Also, it was explained to me that if I should find it overwhelming, all I had to do was press a button. The ‘trip’ took about twenty minutes. As I lay in the tube, my arms crossed, I thought what a great opportunity to meditate, so I did.
At the end of the ‘trip’, I was told I had responded well. I remember saying to the doctor ‘well, what else could I do being stuck in there? I just meditated!’ As if in agreement, he smiled knowingly down at me and I smiled back up at him.
Many people, unfortunately, develop serious health problems, sometimes unexpectedly, upsetting their lives temporarily or permanently. Initially, the upheaval can play havoc with their emotions. It is easy to feel overwhelmed by waves of uncertainty – from anxiety and worry to profound sadness, despair or even self-pity.
According to some of the medical information I was given, everything changes once you learn you have a serious health problem. Perhaps you cry, seek out the comfort of loved ones, or do your best to distract yourself or pretend like crazy nothing has changed. After digesting this information, I just thought to myself – hey Peggy, what’s going on with you as I wondered why wasn’t I experiencing any of these negative feelings.
So, how did I feel and what did I think about during those long hours lying in my hospital bed albeit with constant interruptions of tests being carried out, medication to be taken, etc.? I found that I did not dwell too deeply on what had happened to me, or even question what did I think my life would be like when I returned home. Nor did I experience any thoughts of fear or anxiety. And yet I was totally aware of the seriousness of the health problem which had suddenly disrupted my life and affected my immediate family.
In my heart, I never doubted for a moment that I would not recover one hundred percent. During my stay in hospital and since I have been back home, not once have I felt left alone as I knew the Lord was with me and had been all along.
These are my humble and grateful thoughts. I praise the Lord.