Monday, October 15, 2007

When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me speaking words of wisdom, "Let it be"

I know, I know. Long title.

But it's a song that is stuck in my head today. I think it's trying to speak to me, and I know it is a message I need to hear.

In case it isn't obvious from my other posts, I am a worrier. It is an irresistible force to me; if there is a potential problem, I *must* worry.

Do I hear one of the girls coughing? What does the whooping cough and croup sound like anyway? Are there any active cases of TB around here? What exactly are the symptoms of the plague?

I'm flying to a conference for work this week in Baltimore (home to one of the highest rising murder rates in the country). And as you can see, nothing is ever easy with me. That's not entirely true, but you get the idea. My worries of late had centered on this trip. It will be my first real separation from Sister Goldenhair, and I will miss Miss B's field trip to the pumpkin patch. I have worried about making sure they have someone to watch them while Woody's at work on the weekend. I've worried about packing their clothes early, because Woody doesn't always check what Miss B packs (temps last week lingered around 60 degrees and she took shorts and a tank top to wear at Granny and Papaw's house).

But today things changed.

Woody had been having some pain and was diagnosed last week with an infection. He took a dose of meds and woke up the next morning feeling completely relaxed. We thought that the cramping he'd had must have left his muscles spent and weak. But Sunday saw no improvement, and Monday brought more problems. He arrived at work with no memory of the trip and couldn't grip a pencil. A trip back to the family doctor resulted in a same day appointment with a neurologist, which resulted in a Wednesday night MRI appointment. Words such as "quadriplegia" and "paresis" have been bandied about.

Mother Mary? Check please!

Just how do I let this be? I mean the advice sounds great, and if you're going to take advice from a song it might as well be a Beatles song. But it's hard to embrace letting go and letting be when I haven't fully explored the realms of worry in this scenario. I mean sure, I've explored several disturbing options. WebMD? Check. Stroke symptoms? First thing that came to mind. Muscular dystrophy? There are 8 types to read more about. Could we keep our house if Woody went on disability? I warned you that I am worrier (I plan to go pro after the Olympics).

This situation reminds me of when I was pregnant with SG. We had a test performed called the quad marker screen, and we got some wonky results. My OBGYN's nurse called me at work to give me the results:

"Mrs. Indywriter, I'm sorry but your quad marker screen showed an increased likelihood of trisomy disorders such as Downs Syndrome."


"Your doctor is out of town right now, but if you like you could talk to a doctor you've never met before."


"We've scheduled a level 2 ultrasound in about 3 or 4 weeks so you can get more info."


I was insane by the time I hung up. I broke down and called Woody, crying hysterically. We managed to get an earlier ultrasound, but I was still consumed with worry the whole time. And though the results were promising, I was never able to feel complete joy during the rest of my pregnancy. That fear was always hanging over me. I've never been the lucky one before, so why should I expect it when it really mattered?

As it turns out, SG is perfectly healthy. And I have a new OBGYN.

But now it's Woody who's sick. And I can see obvious symptoms of problems. So this time it's not in my mind. It's all real. I just don't know what *it* is. How can I not worry about something like this?

I know that I shouldn't worry. I know that it won't accomplish anything. I know that it won't likely be anything nearly as bad as I imagine.

My computer is playing random music from my library right now and "Have a Little Faith in Me" is playing. I believe God speaks to us through any means necessary, and I think I know what the answer should be. My faith should be enough to give me peace in times of trouble (yep, Mother Mary is still hanging around). But doubt creeps back in with alarming frequency.

(Okay God, the theme from Raiders of the Lost Ark is on now. I must admit that I don't see the connection this time. And since the theme from Jaws is next, I assume you are looking to communicate through another medium.)

And so I will wait. And no doubt I will worry. Mother Mary will continue to speak to me, and I'll try to let it be. And I will learn to accept personal failures. And not worry about them. And the Father will hold my hand whenever I lose my way.


adrienne said...

For your own mental health lay off the WebMD (I prefer Mayo Clinic anyway)...

I'm so sorry you're going through this anxiety. You are all in our prayers!

indywriter said...

If you really want to scare the bejeezus out of yourself, you should talk to a medical librarian. My friend Stacey sends me some of the strangest things.