Dad’s update for 04/10/2022 – Brighter Days

So, it’s been more than a month since I last posted about Elizabeth’s journey. Sorry about that but things have been neither hot nor cold but lukewarm and I’ve sort of wanted to just spit it out (shout out to Revelation 3:16) and not deal with it. The truth is that Elizabeth has been in and out of multiple ER visits and admissions since then (though mercifully all brief), including this past Tuesday evening. Every time her temperature spikes above 101.5, we have to respond because the combination of being post-transplant and still having a ‘port’ means an infection there could rapidly spin out of control. Thankfully, that has not happened. And thankfully, we have been able to ‘negotiate’ a new standard protocol that let’s us have blood drawn locally for testing and then wait at least 24 hours at home before considering another trip down to Cincinnati. But even then, sometimes the doctors get nervous and just want to lay eyes on her. That was the case this past Friday when—between the fever spike and a nasty sore/infection inside her lip (that’s probably viral and seems to be lasting forever)—they asked to see Elizabeth. Just a brief outpatient visit, but still a 4-hour roundtrip drive for her and Margie.

This is just indicative of the seemingly unending problems, medications, and overall life interruption. While we are all (including the doctors) expecting that Elizabeth will return to Kent this Fall for her final semester, that she will get her degree, and she will be able to resume her journey to a life where she can support herself and start serving others as a nurse; nobody is expecting a return to normal as it was. And Elizabeth, though strong, courageous, and faith-filled, is quite frankly grieving that loss.

Add to this that Margie is in a lot of pain in her hip and lower back which have gotten much worse fairly quickly. The surgeon who replaced her other hip a few years ago agrees it’s time to replace this one also. Unfortunately, he doesn’t do those procedures anymore and, even if he did, our insurance for that procedure has become very complicated. It requires the procedure be done at one of their designated ‘centers of excellence’ (none local) and she must get her BMI under 40 (still a few points/pounds away). The good news is she’s been accepted into another insurance-provided program to eliminate her diabetes medications and though not a primary goal, she will probably also lose weight.

I also have had medical fun, with dual eye lens replacement surgeries (due to cataracts). Fortunately, there were no major complications, but it is exhausting dealing with ‘drug store reading glasses’ (and headaches and tired eyes) until I can hopefully get some new prescription glasses after the recommended waiting period. Really not that big a deal considering Elizabeth’s and Margie’s issues (and Ukrainian refugees and cancer patients and so many others so much worse off), but all together it becomes increasingly hard to be joyful and not get depressed.

I attended our church’s men’s retreat this past weekend. Some of the radio songs during my drives back and forth definitely hit home. “Brighter Days” [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6lp1Oxb9L4] by Blessing Offor definitely hit home (especially given that the artist lost his eyesight). And at the retreat, I was reminded of Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV) where Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Regardless of, or maybe more so because of, all the problems, I need to remember that staying in and obedient to God’s Word brings true joy and utter freedom.

Another song that hit me was “Jesus is Coming Back” [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7-m8EGdwPE] by Jordan Feliz which reminded me that “when the world gets complicated, [we gotta] keep on celebrating”. One way to obey the Word is to deliberately enjoy and celebrate all of His blessings in our life. Romans 15:13 (NIV) prays that, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

So, I, along with Elizabeth, and Margie, and all of you, need to look forward to a future when Jesus will raise us up entirely from the temporary problems of this temporal world. A third song (yeah, it’s been a month so y’all get three today) that touched me during my drive home from the retreat was “Rise Up (Lazarus)” [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pw8IgPHRBr4] by CAIN. I continue to pray for the day when God will deliver my daughter into her new life, rescued from the grave, filled with joy and celebration in His name. And I again thank all those that continue to pray with us for her new life, for our family, and for our world.

This last theme also fits perfectly with the season as I pray for a Joyful and Blessed Easter for each of you.

One thought on “Dad’s update for 04/10/2022 – Brighter Days

  1. Thanks for the update Mark, and the encouragement we receive through your testimony. We pray for all of the Burgers and the blessings of your faith ??????

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