Tuesday, June 06, 2006

A Rough Week

Last week was a pretty rough week for me.

Earlier in the week, I attended the funeral of a friend and former colleague. I appreciated him, and the many contributions that he has made, yet I couldn’t help but be saddened as I attended his funeral. The only spiritual message at the funeral was from the Bishop conducting the service at the funeral home. The lifestyle choices he had made, and the distance that he obviously was from the church and the gospel made me feel uneasy about his future. I know it is not up to me to judge, but I also know that he could have been better prepared to meet his maker. My hope is that he’ll still have some opportunity to repent and receive the blessings of the gospel in the Spirit World.

In the middle of the week I was shocked to learn that one of my current colleagues, and a good friend, at work has decided to retire. I have worked closely with her for the last 13 years. She was the supervisor over the utility customer service department. I have been working as the computer programmer that supports utility billing. We went through a major software conversion together in 1999 (preparation for Y2K). Since then we have worked together as we have made modifications to the software package, or dreamed up new features altogether to help her department to do their jobs better. That’s what I like best about my job – helping others to be able to do their job more easily, and more efficiently.

I have enjoyed collaborating with her over the years. It has been fun to bounce ideas off of one another. Many times she would have some really good ideas too! I will really miss working with her.

She has chosen to leave the world of work, and stay home with her three boys. Up until now, she has always worked during her adult life. I’m sure it will take a while for her to adjust to her new career. However there is no higher calling that taking care of your family. I hope she will find happiness and fulfillment in her new endeavors. I will still miss working with her, and just chatting with her from time to time. However, this choice can be a great blessing for her and her family. I wish her well.

Toward the end of the week, the neuralgia in my feet was really getting to me. There were nights last week when I didn’t get any sleep at all. My feet hurt and were so sensitive to touch, that I couldn’t get comfortable enough to sleep. I was really getting run down physically, emotionally, and mentally. The medication I was on (Neurontin) wasn’t having much of an effect at slowing down the numbness, tingling, and burning in my feet.

I called my Dr. and told him of my continuing problem. He gave me a prescription for a new medication (Lyrica) to try. I also asked him for a referral to a Neurologist.

I went to the neurologist, and frankly, I wasn’t impressed. It was 4:00 on a Friday afternoon, so he may have had other things on his mind, but he really didn’t seem to have much sympathy for my condition. I went in there feeling drained and exhausted. I needed some help and encouragement. Instead, he insisted on lecturing my on things that don’t apply to my situation.

Then he proffered that my neuropathic condition may well be permanent – meaning that it may never go away! That just wasn’t what I wanted to hear. This has been a vexing problem to me. There are times when its all I can do but sit there and grind my teeth because of the pain in my feet. It interferes with many aspects of my life. Especially in being as active as I would like to be, and the fact that I still am having a hard time sleeping.

So there I was in the neurologist’s office, being told that I would likely be on medication for the rest of my life for neuropathy. On the way out the door, the Dr. had the gall to tell me, “Sorry, no miracles today!.” That statement really frosted my cookies!

All I wanted was a little hope, a little encouragement. I needed reassurance that there would be a way that I could return to a more normal existence. I was fatigued and run down both physically and psychologically. I found none of the support that I needed at that Dr.’s office. I doubt I will be returning there.

I went out to my car following the Dr. appointment, and just sat there for a few minutes. I felt lower than I’ve felt for many years. I offered a prayer there in my car, expressing to the Lord my feelings and frustrations. I begged for his help to get through this situation. I was at my wit's end!

Sunday (June 4th) would be fast Sunday. My family and I fasted that my feet might heal, and that if possible I might not have to have further surgery on my bowel.

Sunday, I had a full day of Church service. I started at 6:30 am, went to two sacrament meetings, and had appointments to meet with three different people. I bore my testimony in my own ward’s sacrament meeting. It was about 5:30 pm before I got all of my church service duties completed. I spent some extra time with the scriptures, and also spent some time at the piano, playing church hymns.

I am beginning to feel better inside. I have done all that I knew how to invite the Spirit into my heart and mind. We had a nice Family Home Evening (FHE) last night. Our son, Bryan, taught us a lesson on the Holy Ghost from the “Preach My Gospel” manual. Once I gain, I spent some time at the piano, playing hymns as prelude music to FHE, while the dishes were being done.

While my problems haven’t gone away, I am at least feeling more strength to cope better with my situation. Once again, I will be called upon to exercise patience as I endure. Instead of just going through the motions, and trying to get by from moment-to-moment, I will be looking more for what the Lord would have me learn in my afflictions. We know that Christ “learned . . . obedience by the things which He suffered.” (Hebrews 5:8) I will continue to do all I can to stay close to the Lord, and to invite His Spirit into my life. I know that through Christ, I can find the strength to endure, and to hopefully overcome one-day as well.

I am reminded of the 4th verse of the Hymn: “I Am A Child of God”.
I am a child of God.
His promises are sure;
Celestial glory shall be mine
If I can but endure.
Lead me, guide me, walk beside me,
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must do
To live with me someday.


Tigersue said...

I'm sorry you have had such a hard week. That nueropathy is horrible and I suggest looking for someone that can help. Unfortunately neurologist have huge egos so finding a compassionate one might be a bit tough. Darn.

s'mee said...

Hang in there Buddy, something is working in you for a reason. In the *mean* time, know we are behind you with prayers as well.

Your friend will be taken care of by a Father who knew him best.

Now one thing that I HAD to come to way back in the day to save my kid. YOU pay for the doctor's house, car and his kids to go to a better school than your own... If you are not satisfied with his/her opinion get a new doctor. BE the squeaky wheel! (with fist thrust in the air!) Listen to that inner voice and get a 2nd, 3rd, 4th opinion if need be.

Sometimes we feel just because these folks have been to a school we have not that they know everything. We forget that, as you pointed out, it was the end of his day, sometimes they had a fight with a coworker, the dryer blew up or whatever. They can and will make mistakes. That and some have a personality we cannot communicate well with. Some are, well, just jerks.

Keep looking and do not give up. You NEED to get better to be the best dad and hubby your family can have. If that means a life long illness or disability -well ok; but what if it just means a few months of hard tough luck and it is over looked?

Go in swingin'! Try to stay positive and remember the Lord's day is 1000 years, when we ask< He may be saying, "O.k., hang on a sec...I'll be right there..."

It's all good. This will be one of the BEST blessings when you look back on it. (I know. I'll send a photo for darts later)

Big HUGS and I am very sorry that you are having a bad week. Chin up! we love you big Dave!

Stephen said...

I'm so sorry your week was so bad.