And I always have ... well ... except for the occasional little grape that I might try in the store to make sure that the bunch I'm buying aren't super sour and a total waste of money.
Momma was right. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS wash your fruit.
I don't know if I'll ever be able to eat a grape again. You see, for the last TWO MONTH (honest, I'm talking 8+ weeks) I've been dealing with some big problems with my GI tract.
At first I just thought it was that time of the year when the virus bugs at school start wrecking havoc with our family. (Our family has gotten the flu 8 out of the last 9 Christmases we've had children. Yes, ON CHRISTMAS.) I just figured it was getting a running jump on things this year. But oddly, it was only me who seemed to be effected. And on and on it went.
Then I thought, oh my goodness ... maybe I'm ... expecting?
No, it was NOT that ... but it did have some of the same intense nausea.
Then the stomach flu did hit the boys (I'm hopeful that we now WON'T have it over Christmas this year! PLEASE!) It came and went ... yet my problems continued ...
Have you noticed that I haven't really blogged for a long time? Just barely keeping afloat, I only even have been replying to other folks ... sorry!
Finally I just had had enough. I broke and went to the doctor last week.
Thankfully my blood tests all came back normal which meant I needed to do some "at home" testing and collection . (ack! Not going any further on that ... but I will say it wasn't fun.)
Anyway, results came back yesterday and I have a parasite.
And although there is no way to know for sure, I am so very certain that it came from a grape that I tried at the local grocery store. I even thought the slight white chalky covering was questionable and that maybe I should just skip the grapes that day.
Oh yeah, understatement of the year!
THANKFULLY, I did wash the grapes before feeding them to my family. And they have no problems.
So yesterday when researching my intestinal parasite, the first website I came to was about how 20% of all internationally adopted children suffer from this parasitic infection.
This is the first website I open up? Shouldn't it have been Web MD or the Mayo Clinic? And maybe that doesn't seem so odd, except if you consider my passion for orphans. Recently I've had waves of doubt wondering what good I'm really doing on the orphan front since apparently God's plan does not include us adopting in the foreseeable future. Does He really want me or need me to be in this area? Is it my passion and not His for me?
And then I come down with a parasitic infection growing untreated for over 2 months. I now have a new understanding of the actual pain, fear, and depletion that someone infected with this has ... and to think that I could go with this untreated indefinitely if I were an orphan? Oh my goodness.
The discomfort, bathroom issues, malnutrition ... loss of energy and loss of hunger ... my heart goes out in a new way to anyone suffering with this untreated.
Although I was scared to think of the possibilities of a gluten intolerance or Chrone's disease or cancer or goodness knows what, I knew that at some point I could get medical help ... that someone would care for me if it came to that ... I was not alone.
So, although I did not travel to an exotic location or participate in a missionary trip to a developing country, I know that God is using this moment in some way for His good ... I wish I could convey the way it seems so clear to me. Perhaps I just need to share it in the light of my devotional reading that I had 2 nights ago as I waited for the test results and as I quite honestly was "praying for a parasite!" (Something that can be diagnosed and treated quite effectively.)
This was the entry I read Sunday night:
When you are plagued by a persistent problem—one that goes on and on—view it as a rich opportunity. An ongoing problem is like a tutor who is always by your side. The learning possibilities are only limited by your willingness to be teachable. In faith, thank Me for your problem. Ask Me to open your eyes and your heart to all that I am accomplishing through this difficulty ..."Jeff and I chuckled at this when I read it to him. And yet, now I am so thankful. And I'm also very much looking forward to getting started on the medicine to rid me of this thing! (Can you believe I went to the pharmacy last night through heavy mall-journeying traffic and they did not yet have my prescription ready. Even though they had had the order all day? Weird. As I had to get the boys to hockey I called Jeff who was still at work to have him pick it up for me.
And he did ...
When we got home from hockey I went eagerly to read the instructions only to find that they had instead filled my monthly pill prescription and NOT the antibiotic.
Oh my goodness--I just broke out in laughter--not because I have lost my mind, but because this is the 3 or 4th time Jeff has tried to pick up my prescription when I come down with these odd things (like massive poison ivy, wicked pick eye, herniated belly button, lyme disease) and they always goof it up so I have to wait longer for the medicine. (Totally not a laughing matter in the case of the Lyme disease.)
I'm sure there is a learning lesson in there somewhere too.
And today I am thankful for so much. For doctors, medical care, antibiotics, for newly opened eyes and for a refreshed heart. And tonight when we travel in to the pharmacy I look forward to saying goodbye to these free-loaders.
Sorry to have been away so long, I hope I still have a few readers. And remember ... WASH YOUR FRUIT!