caroline holzberger

Keepin' it real about motherhood, Jesus, life, and everything in between.

lucky 13

did you ever have one of those cheesey rabbit foot key chain thingy’s when you were younger? creepy, now, when i think of it…but they were popular, so of course, i had one. it hung, with many other obnoxious keychains on the zipper of my backpack, because i was young and obviously didn’t have a key to anything. there was a mini-magic 8 ball there as well….some sort of troll with poofy pink hair….maybe a mini-button of jordan from new kids on the block that i had pinned on as well. it was a large junk of mess rattling around, but it was popular, so i did it.

i didn’t ever actually believed that the appendage that someone cut off of poor thumper would bring me good luck, whether they had dyed it hot pink or not, didn’t matter. it was just something you had and saw, but didn’t put much weight in. kinda like the title of my post today…lucky 13. today marks the 13th day i have been in the hospital. wahoo. so, one might say…”hey, lucky 13, maybe you’ll get to go home today!?!” to which i would laugh and say, who knows if i’ll get to go home today, but it won’t be luck. i mean seriously….luck? didn’t turn out to “lucky” for ol’ thumper did it.

now, don’t get me wrong, i would LOOOOOVE to go home today, i don’t care what day it is. but i’d just assumed have gone home on “lucky 4” day or “lucky 5” day….but that is all silly talk anyway. and, after all, i’m still here. that’s right…..still here. ya hear that God….still here!?!?!?

my husband and i did a lot of good talking yesterday and he brought up a very good point. often when we do this, and he brings up a very good point, it is often something i don’t particularly want to hear. in other words, it is usually convicting and i’ve always been a fan of “pleasing me” type of conversations. not ryan. God knew what He was doing there.

yesterday started of with such promise. i got up out of this hospital bed and took a shower. which, by the way was beyond needed. i mean it. i’m talking, worse than when you have an infant and you are aimlessly stumbling around half-awake with spit-up all over you thinking “when was the last time i bathed myself?” ya, it was that bad. so, i took a shower and got up afterwards and didn’t really have much of a pressure headache at all. i couldn’t believe it! i was thrilled. especially since i had ended the night before so down in the dumps after getting up and having spinal pressure headaches after being flat on my back for TWO SOLID DAYS. but, here i was in the morning, feeling at least a little ok. Praise God! i still took it easy and stayed flat the rest of the morning, but then when i got up again, i still felt ok. it is so hard to differentiate how i feel, because i am so very weak and i get dizzy, from lying in a hospital bed for 12 days, and from the exhaustion of my adrenal insufficiency on top of all that….but i stood there and really focused and honestly couldn’t feel that scary headache. Oh God-could i be healed?? could that second blood patch really have worked? my hope soared. i flashed in my mind to getting home, finally, and seeing my babies and them being soooo happy…home, finally! then the afternoon came and i got up , just to go to the bathroom (yes, i had parted ways with the bed pan, and was happy to do so) and within minutes it hit me. NO! please God, NO! but sure enough, the all to familiar swelling headache came on again. i hurried back to lie flat, almost wishing it away. telling myself it wasn’t that bad. i lied flat the entire rest of the afternoon and early evening. then, once ryan got back up to the hospital, i knew i had to try it again. so, i did. this time was even worse. that swelling pressure feeling, like my brain will literally explode…i know that at this very moment my spinal fluid is leaking away from my brain, and causing trauma to it….so i lied down again. and cried. and worried. and got angry. and cried.

then, i just checked out. have you ever done that? been so spent, so overwhelmed and exhausted that you just check out? i wasn’t feeling much like talking to God about it. i wasn’t even feeling like talking about it, analyzing it, or even giving one moment’s thought to it. my body had betrayed me again, or so i felt. so i turned on the tv and just checked out. fortunately for me, that one of the 17 channels they have here at the hospital is lifetime and they were doing a movie marathon. so, for FOUR hours i just escaped. first, with drew barrymore in “never been kissed”, one of my all time favs. then a bit later, with julia roberts in “knotting hill” another good chick flick. i gave up my brain energy to useless tv. could i have gone to God, laid myself before Him, once again….yes. should i have opened my Bible and found Truth to encourage me? yes. could i even have opened one of the great Christian books i am reading right now and been encouraged? yes. shoulda….but didn’t. i’m not at all proud of this, but i just checked out.

later in the evening, as i was upset about the whole thing, ryan was trying to keep me positive and then he got a little “tough love baby” on me. he said “honey, you have got to calm down. you do this every time you start to feel worse, you get down, you worry more. then, when things get better, you get a good prognosis, your hopes go up and you are so much more positive. you can’t keep doing this to yourself.” ugh. it bugs me to no end when he nails me.

he was exactly right. i have been putting my hope in these circumstances, and not in my God. isn’t my faith stronger than this? i ask myself. i am not a fair weather faithful follower am i? or am i? its been tough not to be crushed each time i’ve gotten my hopes up. but over these last ten months and especially these last 13 days, it has been very tough…

doc:’ yes, this procedure should help and give us all the info we need, i bet we have you outta here in two days”
me: missing jacob’s birthday (crushed)

doc: “now, because of your past history, this second procedure really should seal this leak and as long as you lie flat for an entire 24 hours, just to be safe, i bet it will be fine. you should be home by saturday”
me: missing bringing bday cupcakes to jacob’s school and benjamin’s meet the teacher night and missed the entire four day weekend with my fam

and here i am…day 13, and as it looks from here, i will be missing my darling benjamin’s first day of preschool tomorrow. i can’t hardly even think about it.

but i have to stop. i have to stop putting all my hope in these circumstances. i must stop putting all my hope in the outcome of this. my hope should be in God, regardless of my circumstances.

psalm 31:24 “Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.”

isaiah 40:31″but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

i can’t lie here in a hospital bed day after day after day and not have my ups and downs. i have to be fair to myself. but, i’m not sure i can handle this emotional roller coaster anymore. (read my blog about roller coasters, i don’t like them to begin with) and i guess the reason i don’t feel like i can take it anymore is because i am not designed to take it. i am not supposed to take it.

psalm 55:22 “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.”
1 peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

my burden is to get home. my kids are just dying for me to come home. they cry every day now, it seems. 13 days in their world must seem like two months! the normalcy of our home will not be returned until i come home. that is one heavy burden. one heavy burden i can no longer carry.

i want to jump right out of this bed and run home. literally run. but i can’t. i have to get well. and each time i start to feel well, i can’t put my hope in that. because that seems to fade away. we are at a huge turning point with my medical team, decisions have to be made. big decisions. going home and resting and just seeing if this will heal itself, not likely but possible…..or another major procedure and surgery to fix the problem (with only 50% accuracy) and at least 4-5 more days in the hospital. whew. burden. can’t handle that one either.

so, on this day, 13….there is no luck. there is just me, lying in this hospital bed, again. and there is God, who is in complete control. my bets are on Him.

God- i blew it yesterday. i am so sorry. you know my heart. you know every cell in my body. i desire your will. please give me all the strength i need for this. i’ve been wasting the strength you give me on trying to carry too much. and i’ve been setting my hope in things around me. please forgive me. you are going to have to transform this heart. this mind. this way of thinking. i know you can. i thank you in advance for that miracle. and i thank you in advance for the day i do get to go home to my family. may i have not wasted this part of my trial, may i have learned what you sought to teach me. i am yours. amen

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One thought on “lucky 13

  1. caroline,
    this was inspiring. I have to admit that this was my first time to read your blog, but I have been following you on facebook of course 🙂 Praising God through the storm is such a hard obstacle to climb over, and it is a lesson that everybody has to learn in life, myself included. But your willingness to give it all to God after you have been battling this for such a long time, is something to look up to you. Thank you for posting this today. It definitely changed my perspective. Love you! & I'm praying for you every single day!
    Mackensie Wesley

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