So I wrote this in May of 2012, over 2 years ago, and never got back to publish it. I think I just got to a point in my life where I was just plain tired of thinking about things, much less writing about them. It’s still relevant, and since I can’t sleep tonight, and life hasn’t changed much, in terms of lots of stuff going on, I’ll just start here and continue on…
This spring has been really hard. Lots of things going on in my life, but I have to say that after this non-winter that we had, I knew that bug season was going to be tough. Living out here in the woods, I know that come mid-May, the black flies will be biting, and the mosquitoes will follow. And then there are the ticks. I have barely ever paid any attention to ticks. Hadn’t seen one- ever. And in recent years they’ve become a source of major illness. I’ve plucked 2 off my cat.
Recently I decided to read up on the little critters, kind of a “know your enemy” thing to see if my fears were realistic. I don’t like to put poisons on myself or my children. I’d rather not with Big Cat, but he’s the one who’s out in the grass and roaming the woods. And he likes to sleep on my feet. So I imagine ticks crawling off him and onto me. It disturbs my sleep. I tell myself just to kick him off. I pray to God to protect me from ticks. So far so good.
Ticks have 3 stages, and they only eat once in each stage. A tick may latch on for hours, and the longer they’re on, the better the chance of transmitting disease. Just a couple of random facts that I remembered. What stuck with me most is their method of finding a
victim meal. We know they like to hang out in tall grass, and what they do is hang onto the grass with their hind legs and reach out with the front ones, waiting to grab onto the next warm body that comes their way. This is called questing. Seriously. Questing seems like a pretty high-minded word to describe the act of waiting for food, especially when we’re talking about an insect.
Think about it for a second. Tons of ticks, hanging off blades of grass waiting for a warm-blooded creature to roam by so they can end their quest for a meal by latching onto said animal (or human). How many wait in vain? Are there that many creatures running around in the grass that they can sustain a population of ticks? Do these quests for food ever end in failure, with the tick shriveling up and dying? (I wish…)
So I’ve been careful this season as I’ve worked at raking and gardening. The most frustrating thing about ticks is the fact that you can’t feel them when they bite, and you can’t hear them coming, kind of the high blood pressure of the insect world, no warning signs. And potentially very bad for your health. So give me a whining mosquito any day, or the pinch of a black fly. At least I know it’s there. It really bothers me that these stealth-ticks can bite me and hang out for hours, sucking my blood, and I may never know it. Totally creeps me out. Lord, protect me from ticks!
And now, it’s July 2014. Two weeks ago I found out that I have a real stealth-threat to my health. I thought I had appendicitis, but a CT scan on the ER revealed an ovarian vein thrombosis- a blood clot in the vein leading from my right ovary. Had I waited a few hours I probably wouldn’t have gone to the ER, as the pain subsided before I actually even saw a doctor. Four days later I left the hospital with A pile of prescriptions for high blood pressure and blood thinners, including one that I had to inject into my belly twice a day. Thankfully I am done with that one!
Any one who knows me well knows that I have a more holistic outlook on the subject of health. I try to eat well, organic when possible, and I avoid using things on my skin that contain questionable ingredients. In other words, if I can’t eat it, it doesn’t go on my skin. I use organic shampoo, and lots of coconut oil, for brushing my teeth, deodorant, cleansing my face, and moisturizing my skin. My hope is to help my immune system do what it’s supposed to do to keep me healthy.
Ovarian vein thrombosis is extremely rare, usually occurring within 6 weeks postpartum. I am 15 years postpartum, and it’s pretty much unheard of at my age. They don’t know how, or why it occurred. And apparently they treat it with blood thinners and hope that the body will reabsorb it. What they hope doesn’t happen is that a piece of it could break off and travel- become an embolus- which is highly dangerous, as a traveling embolus just keeps on going until it reaches a too small place where it lodges, and prevents blood flow to the heart, lung, or brain. Bad stuff.
I saw on an ultrasound where the blood flow from my right ovary is severely diminished, compared to the swish swish and high peaks on the visual as she scanned the left side. I go on each day, back to work, doing what I normally do every day, except that I’m seeing doctors at an alarming rate these days, and getting my Coumadin levels checked every few days. Only God knows the future of that blood clot, and of my health. My soul is a yawning pit wide open with no words, no expression of prayer, only trust. What can one say to the Lord whose care and control over the situation are keeping me from fear and near panic? I can continue on only because I know beyond doubt that He is in control, and whatever happens is completely within His will for my life. I can say with Job, “Though He slay me, yet I will trust in Him.” I don’t want to leave this life, although I am so wearied with all that is wrong with the world that some days I long for Heaven. But I can’t help but feel that God isn’t finished with me yet, that His purposes for my life haven’t yet been fulfilled…