Monday, January 18, 2016

Health Update #2: MRIs Complete!

"Be still, and know that I am God:" Psalm 46:10a (KJV)

I chose this image because it fits so well how things went yesterday.  All of my fears God took care of and them some in regards to the MRIs and the trip to and from the appoinment.  It's an amazing story, and I just have to share.

Answered Prayer #1 - The Trip to the Hospital

On Friday, they announced that the weather for the weekend was looking quite grim.  They were predicting lots of snow (a foot or more) for our area, the majority of which was to fall on Sunday afternoon and evening.  I was devastated.  I have a hard time traveling in the winter to begin with, let alone when the weather is bad.  I'll admit it - the fear sunk in.  It griped my heart, and the more the snow fell, the worse I feared.

By Saturday evening, I knew that the weatherman's prediction would be true - we were getting snow, and a lot of it, on Sunday.  I was in tears I was so scared.  I begged and pleaded with God not to make me go to my appointment in nasty weather.  He reassured me by bringing the above verse to mind and Psalm 56:3 (KJV), "What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee."  It helped relax my heart, and I knew that - no matter what - things would be just as they should be.

Sunday morning, we woke up to blowing snow.  I'll admit, I was afraid, but God kept reminding me that everything would be ok; that He'd take care of me.  And you know what?  He did. :)

We had blizzard-like snow (windy and drifty and lots of white) from the time church started that morning until church ended with a few breaks in between, and then up until we hit the road, and then nothing.  Not a single flake of snow the ENTIRE trip to the hospital.  The roads were snow covered, but in very good condition considering, and we didn't do any slicking around (thanks to the good driving of my hubby, too, I'm sure :) ).  We got to the hospital in about 40 minutes (the trip takes 30 to 35 in good conditions, up to an hour in bad - we'd planned just over an hour), so I had about 30 minutes to relax, fill out paperwork, etc.  The first leg of the trip was over, and we'd made it there safely.  That was one prayer request answered, and I found myself praising the Lord for giving me that.

(I should mentioned that about 10 minutes into the trip to the hospital, I was overwhelmed with a sense of peace.  I felt you all praying for me, and God kept reminding me that He'd keep me safe and watch over me during the MRIs.  It was an amazing calm, and I can't thank you all enough for praying for me!)

 Answered Prayer #2 - The MRIs

My next prayer request had been that the MRIs would go well, especially the IV.  Well, I found out that indeed it was MRIs and not an MRI that I was having.  It was a series of 3, and each one would take at least 30 minutes to complete.  I was also told that I wouldn't have an IV, but I would have the contrast given as an injection directly into a vein, so kind of like a really quick IV that's not anchored.  I was also told that the MRI machine was a larger one, so not as confining, so it was a good one to have my first MRI in.  

I was also told, however, that the CD I brought to listen to I couldn't listen to because it would either 1) not work in the machine or 2) not work after they played it there due to the MRI machine and such.  I opted not to try playing it, as it is one of my favorites. :D  Instead, I had to choose a radio station.  I asked for classical, and that was a no go because they could only play an FM channel.  I then recalled a good Christian radio station and asked them if they could play that.  He thought they could, so we were going to try it.

I got onto the table, got my headphones on, and they started the first series of MRIs.  The radio station worked, and I did hear most of that vs. the whirling and banging on the machine.  I can even say that the most amazing thing about the whole experience is that, during the whole first MRI study, the message in song and preaching on the radio was about how you can trust God, how He is there, and how He'll never leave you and other variations on that theme.  I wanted to giggle, because I *knew* those songs and messages were for me.  I felt so special that God lead that radio station to play those things just for me (and yes, I believe that).  You really have no idea how awesome that was.

Anyway, the first 2 MRIs went off without a hitch.  I didn't have any issues with being in the tube (it was open on both ends, FYI, and not as tight as it could've been, and I found out that I am indeed *not* claustrophobic), and the noises didn't bother me a bit.  The bed I was on did get warm, but it felt good, and I also did feel like I was being vibrated to death, but all-in-all, I was fine.

 Answered Prayer #3 - The "IV"

After the first 2 MRIs, they allowed me to get up and use the restroom before starting the 3rd.  I'll admit, I started to get nervous because I knew the contrast was coming up.  God kept reminding me, though that I could trust Him, and that He'd not let me down so far.

I got back in the room, laid down on the bed and then they put this cage thing over my head (which really isn't as bad as it sounds - it's kinda this plastic, box-type thing that is more open than closed; kinda like looking though a catcher's mask made of large, rectangular plastic pieces).  They sent me back into the tube, telling me that in about 15 to 20 minutes they'd pull me out and do the contrast, right before they started up the radio and the test again.  Some of my favorite songs were being played this time, and I had to fight not to laugh.  God was making it so apparent He was there, I couldn't deny it if I wanted to.  It touched my heart on a level you just can't imagine.

About 15 to 20 minutes later, it was time for the pseudo-IV.  I was asked how my veins were, and I told him that they could be difficult, but I had made sure I was hydrated, so he shouldn't have too much trouble.  He looked at one arm, then the other and then asked me if they'd ever had to do IVs or blood draws out of my hands.  Oh, boy!  I knew that meant my veins weren't wanting to cooperate.  I told him yes, and sent up a quick prayer just begging God to let him find a vein the first time so I wouldn't have to get multiple pokes.  Sure enough, the guy decides to try looking at the first arm again, ties that tourniquet extra tight, and a vein decided to show itself!  Horrah! :)  He got the contrast in (which gives you a weird taste in your mouth that's hard to describe - kinda acid mixed with menthol) without a hitch, and I went back into the machine for about 10 more minutes and I was done and being told they should have my results in 2 to 3 days.

I felt like I'd been laying still a long time (I had), I was cold after being on such a nice warm bed, I felt a little shaky from the vibrations, and my head felt interesting - like I had a lot of coffee (I felt very awake - I am assuming a side effect from the contrast), but I was fine.  No problems, and only one stick!  I couldn't have been more thrilled. :)

I thanked the technician for only poking me once, and he kinda chuckled and said he always tried to do that.  The other tech told me he was being very modest, and that he was actually very good, and I told her I knew he was because he only had to poke me once.  

All in all, it was a good experience, and I will recommend them for sure to anyone needing to get an MRI that lives in our area.


Answered Prayer #4 - The Trip Home

It was time to head home after all of that, so we decided to stop and get something to eat (it took just over an hour and a half to do the MRIs).  The sky was dark, but not snowing, so we weren't too worried about traveling at that moment.

Well, once we got our food and were starting to eat, the blizzard-like snowing started again.  I looked at my husband and told him we really should head home as I knew that the worst of the winter weather was to be Sunday evening, and he agreed.  We quickly finished up eating, and headed to the car.

I kid not - not a mile down the road, the snow stopped.  Seriously!  We didn't have an ounce of snow from then on the entire way home!   The roads were even BETTER than they'd been on the way in!  I think it took around 35 minutes to get home.  It was amazing!  

After we got home, the snow started back up again, but we were able to get to the evening service at our church.  It's been snowing nearly non-stop ever since, and there was no school for most of northern and central lower Michigan (probably more than that, too), and I still can't get over how God stopped the snow for me.

Oh, you may think I'm exaggerating, but I am telling you - God took care of EVERY fear down to the last detail.  He can be trusted!  I am in awe that I mean so much to Him. :)

 A Prayer Request

I see my doctor on Friday, January 22nd, to discuss the results of the MRIs and lab work (all of my blood work came back "within normal").  Please pray that we will have *accurate* results, not "good" results.  I know that may sound strange, but sometimes we are asked to face the unknown and the scary for a reason beyond our comprehension.  We all go through hard things sometimes; I'm just glad that God will be there with me if now is my time to face those hard things. :)  

I don't fear "bad" results, though I'd rather they be "good".  Why don't I fear "bad" results?  Because God has already shown me that He will take care of me.  I want Him to use this for His will and His purpose - no matter what that may mean.  It's at times like this that this quote rings true the most to me:

"Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God." - Corrie Ten Boom

I know God can choose to heal me or He could ask me to face something scary.  Either way, He'll be with me.  I am praying for grace and peace no matter what.

Thank you to all who have been praying for me!  Your thoughts and prayers mean so much!  I hope you have a great week, and I plan on posting an update this weekend (most likely Saturday) about my appointment with the doctor and my test results.


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