Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Fighting anxiety and MRI preparation

Victoria returned to horse riding on Monday this week at the Riding for the Disabled Centre at Raymond Terrace. Alexandra was with us too. Together the girls had fun warming up on the barrel horse, accompanied by Mr Care Bear. Victoria had a fantastic riding session, complete with the 'fist pump' when she completed the slalom exercise around the poles. It is so good to see her participating in a physical activity that she can do so well and enjoy. 

This is such a contrast to what we experienced during the last week of school holidays when Victoria was unwell. For four days she barely ate, seemed overcome with tiredness and of course had high temps which required a hospital visit.

Whilst we are pretty sure that it was just a common virus causing the illness, these type of events are certainly not helpful to our emotional state so close to Victoria's impending MRI. We have certainly noticed a pattern over the years that our anxiety levels increase as each MRI draws closer, particularly in the final 2 weeks. It is such a mental battle to stay strong and positive at this time. Prayer of course is always a help to reduce the anxiety, as is plenty of quality rest, and not too many goings-on around the home (which can be difficult to avoid!). And of course, for me, delving more into God's word, as this scripture so aptly reminds us to do ....

For whatever was thus written in former days was written for our instruction, that by [our steadfast and patient] endurance and the encouragement [drawn] from the Scriptures we might hold fast to and cherish hope. Romans 15:4 (AMP)

In fact, it is the word 'endurance' that God has asked me to do a scripture study on. So I may well be sharing more 'endurance' scriptures with you over the coming weeks!

Thankfully this week, Victoria is back to her fun loving, energetic self, as you can see by the horse riding photo. So we are now in preparation mode for the MRI next week. We have been searching You Tube for videos to show Victoria what the experience will be like without having a general anesthetic. 

We have found some fascinating videos focusing just on the sounds of the machine ... click here to listen to the sounds recorded by Erim Kaska. The children so enjoyed listening to it, they started dancing (well, actually stomping) around the room to what sounded like Industrial style music.I had to say to Victoria, you know you won't be able to dance in the MRI machine!

We also found lots of helpful videos with technicians explaining and showing children the entire procedure, including the interesting helmet Victoria will have to wear. It has a mirror on it so Victoria can what a movie during the procedure. Click here to view one of them. After all this preparation, and the bribe of a new beanie kid if she is able to do the MRI without the GA, Victoria is now quite excited about having yet another new experience.

Please pray that Victoria remains excited about the MRI without the GA, and that she can indeed stay as 'still as a statue' for the entire MRI. We will get the results on 15th May, and are believing that they will be very good!

On a slightly different note, I have just finished reading the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. It describes Ann's journey of moving from a hardened heart derived from major life traumas to a thankful heart that can see God's goodness in everything.  Here is an excerpt regarding her thoughts on Trauma and God. I found it quite insightful and hope you do too.

"Trauma’s storm can mask the Christ and feelings can lie. I draw all the hurting voices close and I touch their scars with a whisper: sometimes we don’t fully see that in Christ, because of Christ, through Christ, He does give us all things good – until we have the perspective of years.

In time, years, dust settles.

In memory, ages, God emerges.

Then when we look back, we see God’s back

Wasn’t that too His way with Moses? ‘When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back” (Exodus 33:22-23 NIV)

Is that it? When it gets dark, it’s only because God has tucked me in a cleft of the rock, and covered me, protected with His hand? In the pitch, I feel like I’m falling , sense the bridge giving way, God long absent.  In the dark, the bridge and my world shakes, cracking dreams. But maybe this is true reality: It is in the dark that God is passing by. The bridge and my world shakes not because God has abandoned, but the exact opposite: God is passing by. God is in the tremors. Dark is closest at work, forging His perfect and right will. Though it is black and we can’t see and our world seems to be free-falling and we feel utterly alone, Christ is most present to us, I-beam supporting in earthquake. Then He will remove His hand. Then we will look.

Then we look back and see His back.

I look in my rearview mirror. The bridge I cross on the way to the chapel has fallen behind the hills. I can still see, in memory, the river’s winding light, mirror on moving water.
God reveals Himself in rear-view mirrors.

And I’ve an inkling that there are times when we need to drive a long, long distance, before we can look back and see God’s back in the rearview mirror.

Maybe sometimes about as far as heaven – that kind of distance."

Excerpt from pages 156 and 157

Thank you again for upholding Victoria and our family in prayer. We look forward to sharing some great results with you in the next couple of weeks.

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