When numbers become more important than words

Wow. I just looked back at the last time I posted. It's been a while, hasn't it? (I'd figured it was around three months ago, but didn't realize it was actually much closer to four. And I'm still quite proud of that lovely quote. Believe in your voice, people!) To say that a lot has happened over the last (almost) four months would be a major understatement. So I don't torture anyone by making you wonder if the "happenings" have anything to do with writing, I will be upfront and honest with you. They don't. (Though I wish that they did... I still long to be published some day, to be able to look at a book that I spent so much time changing, rearranging, and writing from the very depths of my heart, to hold it in my hands. But the things that have happened recently have changed all of that. I'm not sure if this is something that is only temporary, or if, in fact, I've gone down one of those paths in my life that doesn't have the option to be walked down again.)

Now, before you hit the "back" button and go perusing somewhere else because this post isn't making much sense, I suppose I'd better explain. You see, back in April, Lovemuffin became very sick. Not a sick that anyone would normally think of -- he didn't get the flu, he wasn't coughing, he didn't get mono and suddenly start feeling extremely tired, either. (Well he did get really tired and very weak, actually, but he had insomnia and couldn't sleep -- not your typical mono symptoms.) For the sake of this blog post I'm not going to go into extreme detail -- I don't want to bore anyone, nor do I want to turn this into a "feel sorry for me" post. So here's my quickest (yet still somewhat lengthy) summary:

On Easter Sunday, things with Lovemuffin went from physically bad and confusing, to much, much worse. An ER visit, few demanded blood labs later (by us, not the doctors) and emergency admission into the hospital after that, resulted in ITP as his diagnosis. I'm assuming that most of you don't know what ITP is, and frankly, I pray none of you ever have to come close to personally knowing what it is. You can Google it, if you like, but for the sake of saving time I'll put it in simple terms: ITP is an auto-immune disorder where your body actually attacks and destroys your own blood platelets. When your platelets get too low, there are many things that can occur within the body, including spontaneous bleeds in the brain (which seems to be the biggest worry when we see doctors -- the first question Lovemuffin always receives is "Do you have a headache?"). To put what Lovemuffin was dealing with in perspective, an average person's platelet count should be anywhere from 150-400 thousand. Usually, once you're under ten thousand (and for some people, even when your count is higher than that) your gums will bleed, you will bruise (and the bruise doesn't really "heal" -- he had that on his shin after being hit by a softball, I'm not kidding, it took three months for the bruise, which ended up covering the whole lower part of his leg, down to his ankle, three months to completely go away.) and other things can happen, like nosebleeds, for instance.

Throughout our dealings with all of this, Lovemuffin's counts have gone up and down so much (up only after treatments, which include infusions of IVIG -- another word you can Google if you're in the mood -- and insanely high doses of steroids) that he's had counts of 1,000 (yes, only ONE THOUSAND) and 309,000 (you read that right, too) within a time span of only a few weeks.

I won't go into detail and bore with you all of the symptoms and issues and hospital admissions and whatnot, there's really no point in that -- reliving it all isn't on my to-do list, and I guarantee you're not going to feel how we did when we were there without me explaining it -- but I did want to explain that, like I said, there's been a lot of happenings around here lately. It took a while, but we ended up finding a place we felt was "safest" to be during all of these issues. The sad part was, it was three hours away. Thank God for our family, because without them taking care of our girls (especially before school was out) for days upon days, I'm really not sure where we would be (well, stuck here where we didn't feel "safe", obviously). And thank God for our friends, as well, for helping us out with whatever we needed, listening to us vent, and continuing to pray.

And that leads me to my final point: while this was all happening, God found us. Yes -- I meant what I said -- that was not a typo, my friends! I did not mean we found Him. He found us. He surrounded Lovemuffin with His love. He took away pains and issues he'd been having for over a decade, took away habits (smoking, in case you're curious) Lovemuffin had been dealing with since he was fourteen years old! And I'd like to make this abundantly clear: Lovemuffin, at that point, didn't even ask for Him!

Don't get me wrong -- I'm not saying we didn't ask or hope or pray for divine intervention -- we did. But when He started to work in Lovemuffin, we hadn't asked yet. He was here before we even turned to Him. Before we even understood how bad Lovemuffin's health really was. We weren't even sure what was going on yet, when Lovemuffin began to feel His presence. And throughout the issues Lovemuffin's had, there has only been one consistency: No matter how terrible he was feeling, how dark or scared or angry or sad or frustrated or helpless he or I (or both of us) felt on a certain day, God was there.

Before this all happened, I believed in God--both Lovemuffin and I did. I've believed in Him since I was a little girl, and not once did I ever, no matter what insane or terrible things were thrown my way my whole adult life, never questioned if any of those situations were brought on by God. (If anyone reading this has ever wondered about that, I want you to know the answer is no way -- He'd never do that to you. God would NEVER punish anyone for anything they've done... that is a lie straight from the pit of hell.) He reached down and put His arms around Lovemuffin and hasn't let go ever since.

And now we are here, exactly three months after the worst of Lovemuffin's symptoms, and I'm not exaggerating when I say it feels as though it's been a year. This is one of those journeys that if I had the choice, I would definitely, with no question in my mind, NEVER EVER, EVER go on again. We still don't have all the answers that we'd like to have -- for one thing, no one really knows what causes it. For another, there are only three main "cures" (and I use that term very, very loosely) for ITP (along what he was diagnosed with later as well -- Evans Syndrome -- though we both believe he's been healed from that and are believing for complete healing and restoration with the ITP, the symptoms are just taking longer to disappear) one being the removal of the spleen, another being chemotherapy. We opted for the splenectomy, and it's been about a month and a half since the procedure. After recovery from surgery was over, it was time to finally be weaned off the steroids. (Yay! They did nothing for his ITP, and talk about dark... Tears still come to my eyes when I remember how terrible they made Lovemuffin feel -- and I'm not talking about physically, I'm talking about mentally and emotionally.) THEN, after being weaned from the steroids, it was time to be weaned off the pills that helped take the edge off the steroids.

It's been a week since Lovemuffin has been completely pill-free. His sleep still isn't what it used to be, the ITP symptoms still come and go on a daily basis, and just two weeks ago we were admitted back into the hospital for low platelets. (I'm at the point where I don't even tell most people, sometimes not even my closest friends, about what is going on here because things go up and down so much, even on an hourly basis.) But you know what? We continue to believe. We continue to believe in a God that is capable and willing and WANTING to give us health and well-being. We continue to believe that family is the most important thing ever, and that health is a blessing that we not only should have, it's a blessing He feels we deserve, because we're His children.

So back to the writing -- I don't know where I'm going. Some days I'm buried in the Word and some days I'm buried in the house cleaning and some days I'm buried in the "trying to help Lovemuffin keep his sanity" and some days I'm trying to keep the girls busy and some days Lovemufffin and I are both buried in the Word. Do I love reading? Yes. Absolutely. Do I love writing? Yes. More than most things (maybe even... *gasp*... coffee). Every single time I log onto facebook or see something on my phone happening on twitter, I feel my stomach fall, fall down so deep that it hurts profusely. I want to cry and yell that it's not fair, that I want to be this or that person, that I want to have the chance to do what they're actually doing. (Then of course I tell myself I need to be HAPPY for them, be proud of what they've accomplished.) But at this point, I can't tell whether or not that's me wanting to write because I love it and want to be a part of the whole thing, want to be right there in the middle of it all since I've taken so much time to learn about the entire process, or whether it's because the enemy (you all know who I mean) is grasping at straws now, and is trying to hit me where it hurts. He's flat-out losing by trying to hit me through Lovemuffin, because I BELIEVE he's being healed -- there's no question. So now he's throwing terrible thoughts and feelings at me: "You're never going to get any further with this." "You're an absolute failure." (I have plenty of verses to throw back at those thoughts though, and they make me feel better.)

Bottom line, I don't know. I don't know much about anything in the above paragraphs, other than the fact that God loves each and every one of us. I don't know what will become of the writing, so I don't want to up and delete this blog, as of yet. At times, when I think about how certain things have gone, or I read the beginning of FLORA, and see that, yes, I should re-work the beginning (but it's not THAT bad, really!), I wonder if God had a hand in all of this, and the fact that I've gone nowhere so far is because of what was going to happen with Lovemuffin. Who knows. But because I know I won't be on here again for a while, I just wanted to let everyone know where I was. I won't be able to be checking on everyone else's blogs either, so I ask in advance that you do forgive me for that. But each and every one of you will be in my prayers -- no matter what part of the writing journey you're currently in. And hopefully, someday soon, I'll be back, knowing what the next step in my own personal journey is.




Lydia Sharp said...

This is a beautiful post, and my heart goes out to you and your family.

God gave you the ability and the desire to write. He isn't going to take that away from you or try to hinder you from doing it in any way. I believe you'll be able to devote more time and energy to it again, maybe just not now. But someday you will.

Have you thought of writing inspirational fiction? (and I apologize if you already do and I forgot) Because this post alone is very inspiring. I have no doubt that you could write a full story with an inspirational theme.

Or maybe even a memoir of your experience with ITP. Like you said, it's not very well known. I had no idea what it was or that it even existed until I read this. You could do a lot of good for other people going through the same thing by writing about how you handled it/are still handling it, and at the same time inform the general public about something they might not have ever heard of. And you know you can write, so. You've already got a leg-up.

Just my thoughts. Glad to see you again, but I completely understand why you dropped off the radar. Don't you ever feel guilty over that!

*hugs hugs and more hugs*

Bonnie said...

Life is an incredible journey and God truly works in mysterious ways. I firmly believe that all things happen for a reason, and that there are lessons to be learned about ourselves and our own character. Glad you guys finally got some answers, and praying that your hubby continues to progress and manage his condition. You are blessed with a wonderful family, a positive attitude and (I've been around your girls enough to know) COMIC RELIEF!

Sierra Godfrey said...

I knew some of what was happening from Facebook, but glad to get the whole story here. It must have been exhausting to write. These things change you and your family forever as you already know, and affect your creativity--not in a bad way, but as Lydia mentioned above, you might very well have found your calling as a writer. I think you could easily write inspirational fiction. Take care, and I'm praying for you.

Jessica L. Brooks (coffeelvnmom) said...

Thanks so much guys, for your wonderful comments!

Lydia, I don't know about writing "inspiration". To be honest, it's always been some sort of description that I've shied away from. (Maybe that's due to the fact that I don't *feel* as though I'd be an inspirational writer?) I'd started another book quite a while back, something totally and completely different from FLORA, and the funny thing was, the MC had this health issue, and a lot of the book revolved around it, but at the time that Lovemuffin grew sick I DID NOT KNOW what it was. I was still trying to figure out what to "give" him. So maybe FLORA will just be pushed by the wayside for now, and that new unwanted knowledge about ITP and Evans will be what gets me published someday. As I said, we will see.

Also Lydia, I wanted you to know that I thought about you during all of this, because I know what your hubby deals with, and the dark dark nights my own hubby had were so horribly heart-wrenching that I realized how hard it must be on both of you at times. I can't imagine what is like. You two have and continue to be in my prayers. <3

Bonnie -- Ah... yes... my girls are masters at comic relief. As for the positive attitude, that only comes from God, because He is the one giving me strength!

Jessica L. Brooks (coffeelvnmom) said...


You take care too. I know your house has gotten a bit "busier" since #2 came along. Any kind of change from the norm molds and develops us into more of what we're destined to be. Thanks for the prayers, and keep 'em coming! <3

Unknown said...

A beautiful post, God bless...

James Garcia Jr said...

Hello, Snip. I have been thinking about you lately, wondering why our paths hadn't crossed on the 'sphere. Now I know.
I praise the Lord for the healing that your family has been touched by - in all areas.
Whether you or I ever write again, I'm just grateful for having met you, my friend. That's far more important.
God bless,


Anita said...

Hello Jessica,

Wow...I'm speechless. I'm sorry and I'm disappointed for you; yet hopeful, prayerful, and even happy for you. You still have your husband. I know a few who don't.

Hang in there during this challenging journey. It's taking you and your family somewhere that has purpose.

I pray that his body is healing and that the scriptures are bringing comfort. I also hope that you will be writing his testimony about the time when he "had" ITP.

ps. Can't remember who I saw saying this, but it was advised that you get out of the house on your own, fairly often, regardless of everyone else's seemingly urgent needs. Perhaps you'll sit and write for an hour.

Anita said...

Hello Jessica...hope you're still writing.