Journal entry by Debby Larimer

I want to thank everyone for the birthday greeting this past week and for the gift your friendship and support is to me!
had a week that I do not desire to repeat, yet to tell you my story helps me see I do overcome.  On Thursday evening while my friend Chris was over, I had an unusual health scare. The balloon that holds the catheter in my pelvic area deflated and I didn’t know it until I recognized a steady flow of blood draining. This had never happened. I got into my bathroom and tried to hold pressure on this but it continued to fill up the things I placed up against it and flowed into the water of the toilet. Chris phoned the on-call nursing and also a trusted friend who is also a nurse and is familiar with my care.  When the on-call called back she told me that she would call the ambulance because she was about 40 mins away and due to the bleeding she knew I needed to be seen. It was like nothing I have seen in my life, the amount was alarming. Then three, yes 3, police officer were in my bathroom with me until the ambulance crew came. Boy is that humbling. Chris knew that my evening care giver would be arriving soon. Emily volunteered to ride in the ambulance with me and she was there until Chris and Paula arrived.
Two doctors attended to me and were both concerned with getting the catheter back in as soon as possible. I was dealing with alarming pain and my “shock” over this ordeal..  When the doctors went to try to reinsert the catheter, they felt that a lot of time had passed and the opening had begun to try to close. I tried to remain calm as they began to try to examine the situation. I had swelled up granulomas that often form around the SPcatheter. They told me that they were trying to locate the exact area. Then a pop was felt and the severe pain reared up and I couldn’t stop the loud shrills of extreme pain I let out until they got it in place. I never knew it could get any worse. This rattled my brain. I was fighting back tears as my tolerance for pain hit a new peak. I audibly pleaded to God to rescue me. I didn’t care what the nurse or doctors thought. I just needed relief and fast. I knew I was fighting a new battle and I was frightened to move anything more than my lips. They were able to give me medicine through my IV and they also gave me a shot of Toredol in the arm as an anti-inflammatory. It took awhile to settle the sheer agony I felt I was feeling.  Following this I began to spasm so bad that my bag filled with more blood and the sheet under me was all stained.  I’m sorry for these details, but it still brings back traumatic images.  I still try to push down or away the memory of the way I cried out so loud and couldn’t tolerate any more pain ...I just couldn’t stifle it.  The monitors were alarming as they worked to get things in place. I kept apologizing for my loud cries and trying to protect Emily from experientially.  She told me that she was OK and tried to focus on the game she was playing on my IPad and was listening to music.  I worry about my adult children as they witness the things that happen around them.  I worry too about the medical experiences they are going through.  I continue to ask God to heal their minds, hearts and bodies. I know He is able to Shepherd them and care for them and He is more than able to lead them. I see more and more growth in their lives. We all seem to be learning. “All is well” is a comforting phrase we use to reassure one another.  
The two doctors I worked with last Thursday night were sensitive to my state of affairs and further strongly recommended that I follow up at Hershey in hopes of discovering a possible cause or treatment for the newest symptoms and areas of concern.  My urology appointment is on February 5th at Penn state Hershey MC.. My PCP wrote to me that she ‘highly recommends’ workIng with Hershey. I am also scheduled and referred to see a Sarcoidosis specialist (rheumatologist) that I’m familiar with from when my care was at Hershey. The situation with this is that her schedule does not open until next Fall.  I am on a waiting/cancellation list and have an early Nov. date if nothing opens up. I have to trust that If I need care, God will provide solutions and help with the doctors who treat me now or guide me.  I know time and timing is in His hands and I rest in this.  As long as I seek to stay in His steps, I feel reassured that His care covers me and comforts me. I know He is a loving and just God despite my decisions . Often I‘m reassured that Gods spirit is ministering within my soul, so this is Peace, all is well...It can and will be well with my soul. 
Psalm 62:1-2 & 5“Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. He is my rock and salvation. He is my fortress. I will not be shaken....vs.5...Yes my soul finds rest in him. My hope comes from him”
To be quite honest, I was very tired, very fatigued. There is a shift since before the holidays. I’m sure pain plays a part, but in general tasks I struggle to concentrate, get tired quickly and feel quite a bit of inflammation in my joints and changes.
The ER doctors were able to regulate my symptoms so things got to a point where I could return home the next morning. I felt concerned for Chris because she had to go to work shortly after she dropped me and my attendant off at my home.  The test to look for infection became contaminated so the following day a nurse followed up.  I rested a lot over the weekend.  I am very fatigued and frightened by this experience, but glad to be home.
he is my  anmy salvahe imy.
Some friends came on Saturday and we had my snow date b-day get together.  We had Duck donuts and tacos. My children have also been supportive and very helpful lately.  They truly are a blessing.  I continue to try to get the help they need here in the home and outside support to come along side them and as I try, with Gods help to prepare them for the growing responsibilities of adulthood, I can only trust God with their future and mine.
Reflecting on the hymn It is Well with my Soul there is quite a story to remind us of how important it is to rest, rely and remember God’s faithfulness even in the hard times. This hymn was written after traumatic events in Horatio Spafford's and his wife’s  life.  His toddler son died of Scarlet fever and then a bad fire ruined him financially (he had been a successful lawyer and had invested significantly in property in the area of Chicago that was extensively damaged by great fire). His further interest were affected because of poor economics. He then planned a vacation to travel to Europe with his family on the Ss Ville Du Havre. His plans changed to travel on the same ship so he sent the family ahead and he was delayed. While crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the ship sank after a collision. All four of Spafford's daughters perished. His wife Anna survived and sent him a telegram, "Saved alone …". Shortly afterwards, as Horatio traveled to meet his grieving wife, he was inspired to write the words that later became a well known hymn as his ship passed near where his loved daughters had died.
In light of the recent tragedy of Kobe Bryant I thought of the Spaffords, who were also close friends of D.L. Moody, the famous preacher.  
I pray for all the families affected by this tragedy with the well loved basketball player. Any lose hits home.
Sometimes our lives look or feel pretty hard, but with God we can say, “It is well with my soul.” Psalm 46 tells us that God is our refuge and strength and that He is present in our sorrows. Romans 8:28 says, “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  We don’t always see the big picture. But God is there for us in it all. He will be there for our families , even when we are not by our side.

Songs are powerful to me, as reminders and anchors for this Journey. Psalms are also a great place to go for support. Recently I’ve watched my adult children work through lessons that are emotionally painful for them and also for me, but God is teaching me to back off and direct them to find comfort in their own personal relationship to God and find their identity in Christ. I have many questions for God and it stirs up emotion but I have to pray it can move me and them to action and or changes

Do you have a song that helps you when you are feeling weak or vulnerable? Maybe a song that gives you hope or energy to move through your day. I also have music that helps restore my soul when sad. Some are ones I learned years ago or that I hear on the radio now. I use them to help gain greater strength for the journey.

Dear Lord, My heart hurts for the families and friends that are grieving. And I must admit that I grieve too. As we age, we even mourn our changing physical state. But I am thankful that even when my heart is heavy that the weight of your Glory fills me. Thank you also you for filling my heart and mind with songs. Your strength reminds me that you are with me. me I love you, Lord, in your name I pray Amen.

It is Well with My Soul
When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well, with my soul
It is well
With my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul
It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, o my soul
It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul
It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul



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