Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How do you handle stress?

There are times in our life when the stress of life is more than you think you can handle. I just had one of those weeks.

Last Wednesday, my Mamaw fell & got taken to the hospital. I so wanted to be there with her but Jamie had been coughing so I didn't want to get my Mamaw sick.

Then all during the night on Wednesday, Jamie was coughing like crazy. I called the doctor on Thursday morning thinking Jamie just had a respiratory infection. By the time we arrived at the doctor, Jamie didn't look so good. She wasn't very perky & looked a little blue. And she wasn't talking much, which is unheard of with Jamie. To the left is a picture of Jamie when we first got to the doctor's office.

Within 15 minutes of arriving at the doctor's, I went from slightly concerned to very concerned. Jamie had 3 breathing treatments, a nose swab for flu (negative) & a chest x-ray for pneumonia (negative). Then we were told she HAD to go to the hospital. She was not moving air through her lungs. We were held at the doctor's office until the hospital had a room ready for us as the doctors where afraid Jamie would get in trouble. After almost 5 hours at the doctor's, a room was ready & we headed to the hospital.

On arrival at the hospital, Jamie was put on monitors & her oxygen was at 89%. Jamie was put on constant Albuterol breathing treatment. She ended up being on it for 3 1/2 hours. I felt so sorry for her as she went almost 24 hours without eating. During this time, Jamie was very quiet & hardly talked.  When she did talk, she would gasp between words. She was struggling for every breath.

Jeff's wonderful parents came down quickly to take Jess & David for us as they were with us this whole time. Jeff, his parents & Jess & David went to get food as none of us had had lunch.

After they left, the doctor came in to talk to me about Jamie. He told me they were very concerned about her inability to move air through her lungs. If this constant treatment didn't work, she was going to be moved to PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit). After he left, my parents arrived. For the first time, I broke down when my dad & I stepped out in the hall. He told me doctors at my Mamaw's hospital wanted to move her to a nursing home. The combination of these 2 bad things just broke me. But I said a quick prayer & pulled myself together as I needed to be strong for Jamie.

Fortunately, the treatment helped & air started moving a little through her upper lobes of her lungs. They took her off continuous breathing treatment & let her eat. She was then put on treatments every 2 hours for the next 24. Slowly she started responding to the treatment.

As you can tell, she looks a little better. It was at this point, I realized we were in for a long, several day process to recovery. I knew that if I was going to handle the stress of Jamie & my Mamaw, I was going to need support. So, besides the twittering & facebooking of requests, I reached out to a handful of friends that I know are great "Prayer Warriors". I messaged them & told them specific things that needed prayed for. Things that needed to happen for my Mamaw & things that needed to happen for Jamie. As I sent out those messages, I rested in the fact that God was in control & I knew I, as well as Jamie & Mamaw, were covered in prayer. What a relief! I just sat back & rested in God's arms. I waited to see how God would work.

And boy, did God work. I was amazed at how God moved in my Mamaw's situation. He changed opinions of family members, He changed opinions of the doctor & He allowed my Mamaw to walk & impress the physical therapist. My Mamaw went home on Friday! It's going to be a long, hard road for my Mamaw & for her kids & grandkids who are taking care of her. BUT she's home, where she wants to be!

And God worked in Jamie's lungs. Slowly, he started opening her lungs. Lungs that sounded like an Asthmatic's in a severe asthma attack soon started moving air. By Friday afternoon, Jamie was talking like crazy & felt up to playing games. Thanks to Child Life services, Jamie spent a lot of Friday night & Saturday morning making bead bracelets. By Saturday night at 8pm, we were coming home! We continued breathing inhaler treatment every 4 hrs for 1st 24 hours we were home. Then only as needed. In the last 24 hours, Jamie has only needed 1 treatment.

Not only has God worked in healing Jamie's lungs, but He has kept me from having a fibromyalgia flare-up. Stress is a big factor in my flare-ups. Also, I was in a cool hospital room & slept in chairs & on hard couches. I also had very little sleep. I should have been in a complete flare with tons of pain. But I wasn't! Why? Prayer!!

So, if anyone wants to know how I handle stress, I'll be glad to tell you! I handle it by praying! And by having wonderful friends who pray for me & with me! By handing it all over to God & trusting He would answer the prayers of His Saints, I was able to relax & not get stressed!

God is good! He promises if we cast our cares on Him that He will give us rest, because He cares for us! (Psalm 55:22 & I Peter 5:7). So when you are stressed, I have a couple of things to do. 1. Pray to God! He will help you! 2. Reach out to friends that you know will pray for you & will encourage you! 3. Then rest in God's arms! It worked for me & I know it will work for you!

Thursday, March 3, 2011