It’s been such a long time since I updated my blog and such a lot has happened… I’m going to use the excuse that ‘life got in the way’! Really, it was Easter then I was on holiday etc etc but now I am back and fresh into my second year of ministry here in London!
Yesterday was the anniversary of me starting my job here and the past few weeks have felt like I’m entering into a new season and phase here which is exciting. I’ll try to update through a few blog entries some of my thoughts from the past few months…
First of all, God is still amazing and almost daily astounds me with how much care He takes over even the little details of our lives. Here’s a story…
Following on from my last blog post, when I was rather run down, I managed to get into the state of total exhaustion that kind of crept up and jumped on me from behind and brought me down for a few days. I thought I’d been chilling out and resting a couple of weeks before Easter when I got a cold. But there was more to come…
After a particularly active day in which I’d managed to put up a whole load of posters around the community for our Easter Eggstravaganza I was feeling satisfied and happy, mostly because it was one of those rare sunny days in March and it had been nice to be out and about. However the next morning I awoke with symptoms of mild sunstroke – ridiculous for someone who is quite used to the summer heat of Durban, but there you go! As that day progressed I battled a headache but when I went to bed I was feeling increasingly ill.
That morning in my quiet time I’d read a fantastic quote from Angus Buchan ‘Today, let’s look to Jesus and not to the circumstances around us.’ I’d put it on Facebook and left it there, not realising that a few hours later I would be quoting it over and over to myself in desperation.
For anyone who lives alone, it’s not so nice being ill, especially in the middle of the night. I took various painkillers and struggled out to find oatcakes to enable me to take more and nearly passed out in the process. After running through a list of possible friends who I could call on I decided that if I lived until the morning I’d get myself down to the doctor’s as soon as possible. Morning came eventually and I managed to book an appointment at the doctor’s. I couldn’t even eat porridge (very bad sign) and was struggling to remain upright, although experience has taught me what to do so I managed not to pass out.
I walked very slowly and like a drunkard to the Drs and eventually got seen, just before the room swam round me any more. She took one look and made me lie down quickly. For some reason my blood pressure was extremely low. As I waited for someone to come and walk me home, as the Dr wouldn’t allow me to leave alone, I found the waiting room floor to be a comfortable place to rest my head. Eventually they moved me into an empty consulting room but after about half an hour of resting and waiting (with my feet up in the air!) my blood pressure reading had actually fallen to, apparently, dangerously low levels. I had 3 Drs look at me and the resuscitation cart ready for action, even though actually I didn’t feel like it had dropped. The now-rather-worried Dr told me I had to go to hospital and called for an ambulance.
Now that morning when I had woke up, the only thing going through my head had been ‘Get to the Drs and take your mobile phone charger because you are going into hospital.’ So I’d duly packed my charger and it was no surprise to me to hear that I needed to be taken to A&E. It was quite exciting to be wheeled out on a stretcher and to travel by ambulance! Not so exciting were the speed bumps on the way there though! You can’t have everything… I wasn’t an ’emergency’ case so there was no need to rush me in.
Once in hospital I was monitored and put on a drip to rehydrate me. My lovely vicar friend Tamsin came to sit with me and lent me her ipad to play with later on. The Drs couldn’t find a reason for my low blood pressure and put it down to a virus. I reckon it was exhaustion and a nasty bug that jumped in. After an afternoon of resting and people-watching, not to mention the attention of a dishy young Doctor, I was ready to be released home.
It took me the best part of a week to recover! My lovely sister came to be nurse for the weekend, a job she is very good at, then another friend for a few days after that. I wonder if the whole ‘going into hospital’ thing was just God forcing me to stop and relax, because without that no one else would have made me stop working and chill. Maybe God had to allow that to give me the space to allow my body some rest after a very busy term in which I’d not really stopped. The week after Easter I was due to go on a children’s team at Elim Bible Week (more about that in another entry) and had I not taken this time out, I would have probably crashed and burned during that instead!
So what did I learn through all of this?
1. It’s SO important to pace myself and not to push and push without time out. I’m probably stuck in ‘academic mode’ forever after years of teaching. I NEED half terms to rest and recharge.
2. God is gracious in giving me a heads up before things happen sometimes. Love it when that happens! He knows our every need and His ways are best.
3. Weetabix with water is not so tasty after all. You really do need to add milk! 😉