Sorry it's been such a long time since my last blog post. I haven't been feeling very well. I know the last post was about my back surgery, but in the last week, my pancreas got a little upset with me. Random, right? Who should have to think about their pancreas?
I spend a lot of time thinking about my pancreas. No. Joke.
My mom actually passed away when I was three. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at age 31, I believe, and died when she was 32.
This is why I think about my pancreas. I've thought about it my whole life. I've been counting down to my 30s thinking, "OK, that'll be it. My pancreas is going to go."
So this week, my pancreas went! I'd been having some vertigo, and then I got a tummy ache that was weird, so I went to the ER Tuesday night. They did some blood work and then decided I needed a CT scan to check out my pancreas, since I had elevated enzyme levels.
I cried. I thought, "Oh, crap. This is it. Here it comes. I'm about to turn 31, so this must be it." I managed to calm down a little, and the ER doc said it was just a little inflamed. I was confident that if it were anything other than inflamed, she'd have said, "There's a spot on your pancreas," or something like that. I felt pretty calm about it. My husband, however, was more worried. He urged me to go to my family doctor and make sure everything was throughly checked out.
Another CT scan and more blood work yesterday ensured my pancreas has no tumors or any abnormalities. Just a little inflammation. It's a very mild case of pancreatitis (although it easily could worsen if I don't watch what I eat for a while).
Last night, as I was lying in bed awake (from a headache and lingering nausea), I realized I wasn't lying awake worrying about my back surgery. That's pretty much what I've been doing ever since the surgery was scheduled. I wasn't worrying about my pancreas, either. I was surprised.
Honestly, the pancreas thing is scary. Pancreatitis could be life threatening. But I wasn't as worried about it as I had been about my back surgery. This sudden, very dangerous thing wasn't as scary as it should have been, while my back surgery—a standard procedure that I've been through before—was terrifying.
I realized that God gave me pancreatitis to help me gain perspective.
OK, so God didn't give me pancreatitis. He's not the cause of disease and the awful things in the world. Sin did all that. But sometimes I picture God as a bouncer at the door of my life. He decides what gets in and what doesn't. Occasionally he lets us experience things that we'd rather not have to deal with, either because we can learn something from it or somehow further his kingdom with it.
I was terrified of my back surgery. I could have spent all day, every day crying about it. Some days I nearly did. I've been afraid of not coming out of surgery whole. Afraid of what life will look like afterward when I can't pick up my son for months. Wondering if my friends will be there past the six-week point where most help peters out. Worry, worry, worry. It's all I've done for two weeks now. No sleeping, no joy. Just worry.
Now this pancreas thing. Honestly the more serious of the two conditions, but I wasn't half as worried. Maybe it's because the back surgery is looming out there and I can count down to it, while the pancreatitis was quite sudden. I don't know. I realized that, while my back surgery will be hard, I just have to trust God. He gave me such a peace about my pancreas being OK, when it's really more dangerous than the back surgery. He can give me peace about my back surgery. It's like he's saying, "Why are you worried about that and not about this? You really don't need to worry about either one! I've got this!" He had me experience his strength and peace in a way he knew would get my attention.
God's pretty awesome. And I love my pancreas.