Thursday, August 02, 2007

Yet Another Cross To Carry...

As if what we are experiencing today is not enough, God has granted us yet another cross to carry. A friend has texted me this message one day – “We are like teabags whose true strength comes out when we’re put in hot water. So when problems beset you, just think… you must be God’s favorite cup of tea!” Yeah right! I could only remark to myself, some cup of tea I am.

You see, my wife’s ESRD (End Stage Renal Disease) came at a time when I was just out of job. I had no source of income, I could only ask “Why me? Why now?” But as much as I want to, I could not rebel against God. Sure I have doubts… I have questions… after all, I am still only human. But this event taught me one great lesson – that of relying on God… on God ALONE! For after all, I have always been taught that God is just and all-knowing. He knows our needs… He won’t give us a cross that we can’t carry.

True enough, He gave me strength to withstand the trials. He even sent us people who helped us carry the cross. Miraculously, even without a job or any source of income, my wife was able to take her dialysis sessions. She actually has missed some, but God gave her strength to withstand all the pains, which in turn gave me strength to hold on.

Last year, we were able to sell our house. My last proof, that I was once a productive individual. But we had no choice, as we usually say, we can’t eat the house. So with a heavy heart, I had to let go of it. We need the money to sustain my wife’s dialysis and medications… and of course, our children’s schooling and our daily needs. Because of the proceeds of the sale, my wife never again missed any dialysis session and we could buy all the medicines she needs.

I thought that was it… I thought I was strong enough. I thought I had a great enough faith that I could face any turbulence that life may throw upon us. But like I said, that was just what I thought. Life sure has a way of dousing any fire that you have in you… that is if you allow it to.

Recently, during a visit to her pediatrician because of stomach pain, my daughter Angel Liza had her urinalysis. The lab result shows that she has UTI (Urinary Tract Infection), a condition that has been recurring to her for the past two years. Usually, her pedia would only give antibiotic and request for another test after a week. But this time, she insisted that my daughter would see a nephrologist… a pedia nephrologist to be exact. Because she fears that my baby might go her mother’s way… that of having kidney problems. My daughter is just nine (9) years old by the way.

Just the thought that my daughter would see a nephrologist has caused me unimaginable anxieties. “She’s too young!” was what was always running in my mind. But then, like her pedia said, we need to do it now before it’s too late.

So, on the morning of the scheduled appointment of my daughter to the nephrologist, I was very anxious. While looking at my sleeping baby, I got hold my cellphone. I composed a message requesting for prayers for my daughter that she would be cleaned of any infections, and sent it practically to everyone in my phonebook. After doing that, I was a bit ashamed. Have I over-reacted? After all, there is still no final diagnosis, and the only reason that we’re seeing the specialist was to prevent any more problems from occurring to my baby. Afterwards, I woke her up, asked her to take her breakfast so she could rest before we go to the doctor. I will be the one to take her because it was my wife’s dialysis schedule.

Ten o’clock in the morning, we were already waiting in front of the doctor’s clinic. And the waiting was killing me. At past eleven, the doctor came, she has to see another child before us. When it was our turn, I was still very reluctant as I opened the door to the clinic. As we were seated in front of the doctor’s desk, she was reading the letter sent by the pedia. She was quite disappointed when she noted that the infection has been recurring for two years now, and we didn’t take her immediately to her. While she understood our apprehension, she made it clear to us that our goal is prevention.

Then she started interviewing Angel, her routines, trips to the rest room, drinking habits, eating habits and medicine she’s taking at the moment. Afterwards, she asked her to lie on the clinic so she could examine her organ, after which we were seated in front of her desk. She said she cannot give any diagnosis at the moment but asked for series of test… ultrasound, CBC, BUN, and urinalysis, and be back after a week.

After a week, we were again seated in front of her desk. As she reads the results, she said all the tests are negative and Angel’s infection is gone. I breathed a sigh of relief. But she said she would still require a weekly urinalysis and communicate all the result to her via text, and that she would see Angel again after a month.

Yesterday, after the first week, I took my baby again to the lab for her urinalysis. When the result came out, I texted them immediately to the nephrologist and waited for answers. Honestly, I don’t quite understand the data on the lab result. Then my phone rang, it was the doctor. She asked me if Angel was still on medication, I said no because she has completed the ten days prescribed and also because the antibiotic has caused her severe stomach pain. She said we would have to repeat the test again after two days, and relay the result to her immediately. In the meantime, make sure that Angel would drink plenty of water.

I am no rocket scientist, but I know that from those instructions, my baby has infection again. She didn’t say whether it was minimal or numerous, but she has it again – INFECTION. I didn’t know what to do, would I run a text brigade again of prayer request? Questions were popping in my mind… would this ever end? Why give us another cross to carry? Is this really how being a favorite cup of tea is? Of course, I won’t have any answer to any of these questions.

I could only hold on to my faith….

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