As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. -- Isaiah 55:10-11

Sunday, September 3, 2006

Hoping for Something Better

Funny how falling behind only compels me to fall further behind. Actually, it isn't funny at all, but rather annoying. Such is the situation with my blog. A series of things caused me to get behind, and then I felt bad for being so behind and overwhelmed at where to catch up, so I kept thinking, "I'll get to it when I can dedicate more time to it," but it only seemed more was there to sort through, so it never got done, and it has now been nearly 3 weeks since my last update.

However, today, I am the best of my ability and coherency.

Presently, I am submitting to the effects of rather strong pain medication and antibiotics as I battle a dental infection. For two days I felt pressure building in the area of my lower sinuses, and I went on the offensive to battle sinus congestion to no avail. Yesterday it became evident that my sinuses were not the problem. Between the visible swelling, the tenderness in my mouth, and the intense pain radiating from one tooth, it was obvious that I was dealing with dental problems, not sinuses. Thankfully, my doctor is proactive and accessible. I hated bothering him on the weekend, especially a long one, but I could not wait until Tuesday. True to his caring manner, he called me within 10 minutes, and 10 minutes later my prescription for antibiotics and pain medication had been called in and was being worked on by a 24-hour pharmacy. (Praise God for 24-hour pharmacies!) Within an hour, I was highly sedated and very relaxed as I curled up with a favorite blanket on our comfy sofa.

Today, the pain has lessened, and I am able to take a smaller dose of the pain medication, which is nice. However, it still makes me sleepy, and in truth, it does not kill the pain totally, but I am more funtional, which means I can read a book and remember it or even catch up on a blog that is 3 weeks behind. It is in this compromised state of coherency that this blog originates. Hopefully, it will still have some purpose other than simply jolting me back into the blogging world.

My teeth are actually a significant contributor to the lack of blog lately. This year has been a year of having dental corrections done. Not only have we done the filling of cavities, but major work has been required. For reasons that really make no difference, I have needed five teeth removed, and with this infection, another may have to go. One can only do so much to repair or save teeth before deciding that chronic problems and regular infections are not worth the pain or expense. All this work started in January and has been a planned effort to remove pain, correct dental problems that created larger biomechanical problems, and acquire a pleasing aesthetic outcome. The estimated date for being finished is February.

Sometimes it is mind-boggling to me to think that this process will have taken approximately 14 months and will still require the regular dental maintenance. And braces were not part of this deal either. No, it has been one procedure after another working toward clearly defined goals. Sometimes such things simply take time, lots of time.

I will tell you honestly that this can be a discouraging process. I have spent multiple days at the dentist's where the procedure for that day has required 2-3 hours of work. When the procedure is finished, I am tired, overcoming the effects of the numbing agent, and mentally fatigued. If it were not for the clear vision of the end result, it would be easy to quit, and sometimes I have come home, lay on my bed, and asked my husband to simply remind me of where we were, how much progress we've made, and how good it will be when this is over. Honestly, I need to be reminded.

I think all of us need that in some area of our lives. Maybe it is college or a course of study. Perhaps it is training for a carrier. Maybe it is inner healing of painful wounds. Maybe it is reconciliation in a relationship. Maybe is remodeling of a house. Perhaps it is physical rehabilitation. The possibilities are as numerous as people on this earth, but the process is the same, and it all starts with hope for something better.

I have found that the road to something better is much more easily walked with someone who believes in something better for you, too. I've also found folks like that understand the emails and phone calls when you ask, "So tell me again why we are doing this?" They can tell you. Those are the folks who see the end so well that they can describe it in detail. When you lose the vision, they don't.

Today my husband and two wonderful friends who called to check on me all reminded me that within 24 hours of starting the antibiotics, the pain and swelling would lessen considerably. They made it a point to count how many hours I had already made it and point out that I was getting closer to being out of pain and feeling normal again. They reminded me of where I had been and where I was going. They all envision my being fine again, and that vision compels them to encourage me as well as pray for me. They believe in better things, and they want to be sure I keep my eyes on the better things, too.

Their love and support doesn't mean I don't have to walk this road, but it sure makes the road easier to walk and the end easier to see. I'm glad they are with me. When it doesn't hurt to do so, I'll smile about it.

In the meantime, praying you have folks to see "hope for something better" in your life, and praying you see it in the lives of others.....

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