LACHAM is Hebrew meaning "to engage in battle, to wage war."
The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still. Exodus 14:14 (NIV)
“Marmee, keep fighting. Don’t give up.”
This was said to me over and over again for days. But, I think I am getting ahead of myself.
On Sunday, October 10, we got the results of a test. You know the one that everyone is taking these days – covid. Three out of four were negative. The most cautious of our family of 6 was positive.
We were not prepared, rather shocked, and quickly regrouped and went into quarantine. Four of us live in one home, and the newlyweds are in their own place. They were exposed at the office, so the office closed until things got sorted out and tests were negative.
Rebekah, my oldest daughter, tested positive. She wears a mask all the time. She is very cautious and with her very limited time with the sick co-worker (who did not know he was sick), she now had the virus. The day before her positive test result she did feel funny, body aches, and such, but we attributed it to a gluten issue and thought nothing of it.
When we got word that the office was exposed, she debated about getting tested, but we encouraged her to go, “for peace of mind.” We are so glad she got her dose of fire ants (what my other daughter calls the covid test). We had choices to make – complete isolation? Use the trailer parked by the barn for isolation? In her room so we could monitor her? We decided on the latter. She had her own bathroom, and the rest of us spread out.
She became quite sick the following day. Very lethargic, headaches and we were caring for her around the clock the best we could. We had a scare on day 8 (Did you know that counting your days while you have covid is crucial? And did you also know that covid has its own language, words, subgroups? We didn’t, but we do now.) in which her right eye was smaller than her left and she had a lot of pressure and pain on that side of her face. The doctors we were be treated by wanted her to go to the ER; we asked for an hour. We gathered around my phone and had a conference call with all the family.
She was on antibiotics and all the covid protocol. Our medicines were stacked up like planes in Denver. Supplements, cough medicine, prescription and OTC. After praying together as a family, we felt that the option the doctor presented of trying another type of antibiotic was the best choice – it appeared that this was the start of a sinus infection. Doxycycline was ordered and started right away.
Covid has you on your knees constantly. Seeking God’s guidance and His will and leading. Don't worry about anything, instead pray about everything (Philippians 4:6 NLT).
The following day, my husband John, and my daughter Abbey and I were comparing notes about how we were feeling. Abbey was now sick with body aches, tiredness, I was having a funny throat. John was ok, but tired, all of these were typical symptoms So now, 4 out of 4 in our home had covid.
At first, my case was mild. Abbey was a little farther along, but she seemed to be holding her own. Rebekah was doing well on her new antibiotic and was less lethargic.
Then the shoe dropped.
After lunch one day I tried walking back to my room but was feeling lightheaded enough to rest. Abbey was feeling weak and was on her makeshift bed. The two of us developed fevers and so we were moved into my bed together so the other 2 could care for us. Somewhere between 36-48 hours later, Abbey was well enough to go back to her bed. Good, we were in recovery.
Not so fast. Those were days 5-8 and days 10-14 were coming. Abbey was weak, having nausea and was sleeping a lot. Both of our fevers broke. However, I was losing ground with extreme nausea and extreme lightheadedness. By Monday, October 25, I had fainted more than 10 times, and was now beyond the care of my family. We were all scared. The three of them confronted me and said that for my best interest (and their sanity and over-tired bodies), they needed to take me to the emergency room. Of course, it was not my first choice, but we have lost many friends to this virus. My family was exhausted and very concerned and they were staring at another sleepless night with a Marmee who was losing ground.
Remember my feet? Well, they were screaming and very mad at this turn of events. So, I had 2 things going on at the same time. John grabbed my wheelchair, got me wrapped up, got Rebekah in the car – mind you she was on day 17 of her bout and I was on day 10. We left Abbey home as she was still very much recovering. We prayed all the way to the hospital. Do we go to the local one or to a teaching hospital farther away, but unfamiliar to us? We opted for local, and if need be would ask to be transferred if it came to that.
Some very dear friends met us there, and kept Rebekah company outside in the car, while John and I went to the ER. After quickly checking in, the power promptly went out at the hospital. Crazy. Generator started up, but only half the lights were on. Worked for me as it was not quite so bright. While we were waiting in the crowded waiting room, I realized I was going down again – as in fainting. I told John, he called out and the head nurse had us come to him in triage. Boy, that got me to the head of the line – I bypassed all of those waiting to be seen. My blood pressure at this point was 93/50. Uh oh. Not good. No wonder I was so lightheaded. The nurses were trying to find me in the system but because of timing and the power outage, I was not recognized that easily – even though I did have an arm band. Soon however, we were being escorted to room 25. Boy, that hard ER bed felt so good. Just to lie flat, with feet up, helped my nausea and spinning head tremendously. It was now about 8:15 pm, having arrived in the ER before 8.
Of course they were very busy with lots of other sick folks, so it did take a while to see the doctor and get what I needed. Frankly, I was so out of it, that my bed was all I needed. Tests were ran and it was determined that I was on my way to severe dehydration and I would need an IV along with some anti-nausea medicine. My nurse was so kind and did a phenomenal job getting that done with my collapsed veins.
The doctor did come in somewhere around this time and he offered the covid antibodies to me – it’s not FDA approved, but it has been shown to be very effective. I shared with him that I was not vaccinated because of my history of anaphylaxis, and he quickly said that he was not comfortable giving me the antibodies as it would not be a good fit for me. Totally fine.
I was able to tolerate the one bag of fluids and the anti-nausea med, so I was released by 1:30 AM. Praise God I could go home. I was feeling a little better and we were ready to go. Rebekah had been driven home by our friends. Two of our pastors had joined them earlier and they were praying for us. Because of the computer glitch, our pastor was not allowed in because I was still not ‘in’ the system.
We arrived home, showered and went to bed. Unbeknownst to me, my family had set up a schedule of round-the-clock care. At 2-hour intervals one of them would check on me – whether to take meds, drink some electrolytes, or have me move around. They did this for over a week! And, I believe because of their diligence and love, my life was spared. And, obviously God was not calling me home yet.
While this grueling schedule was going on, both of my daughters were in their own stage of recovery and John was having to teach 3 days, back-to-back of 8 hour training – all online. There were times when I imagine he felt overwhelmed with a very sick wife and two sick daughters, his own mild symptoms of covid, that without the LORD, he would not have been able to continue.
For about 3 days before my ER visit, my oxygen levels were getting pretty low. I was having fainting episodes and I was pretty out of it. We started doing something that really helped bolster all of our hearts – the last Sunday we were in church we sang the Goodness of God. Well, we started playing it, and all of us would sing along. We noticed that my oxygen levels would rise as I sang. We did a lot of singing those 4-5 days. And, we noticed that when we quoted Scripture, it would do the same thing. Psalm 23 was said over and over again, by all 4 of us, together, out loud. Boy, just remembering this brings tears to my eyes. And, Rebekah would ask me to do the ABC’s of the attributes of God. (This is something I do frequently, so it was easy to recall all the times I have said, “A – Abba Daddy; B – Beloved;” and so on.) Again, this exercise was repeated quite often for a week.
The week following the ER visit was one I do not remember much. I was on my bed, not moving, sleeping and really not caring. Too sick! The girls were beginning to recover and actually getting a little bit more energy – not much, but definitely better than before. They became my caregivers. Every hour I had something that I HAD to drink. 8 ounces of either bone broth, hot tea, electrolytes, water kefir. Something, and my peeps were sticklers.
About this time, I realized that I needed to be in God’s Word but could not focus my eyes to read my Bible. I had seen Rebekah doing this, so was able to find my Bible app and listen to long passages of Scripture. It was so good to listen and be comforted by His Word. I listened to Romans 8, Matthew, Philippians, Psalm 119, and more. Abbey also set me up to listen to Focus on the Family Radio Theater - I listened to Little Women and the majority of At Home in Mitford. I did listen to a lot of sermons too, all of which helped me to regain my focus and ability to track.
Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
We would also Facetime the newlyweds (Andrew and Danielle) and this was when Andrew would tell me to “Keep fighting.” The rest of my family would say it too, as they encouraged me to not lose my focus on life and Jesus. It was at this juncture that God spoke:
“I will fight FOR you.”
But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and
watch the LORD rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never
be seen again. The LORD will fight for you. Just stay calm.” Exodus 14:13-14
God spoke His Word to me and it brought such a sweet comfort – I did not have the strength to fight, but God would fight for me. I was able to rest in His loving and capable arms and allow Him to heal me. From that point on, I can recall a distinct peace that fell over me. I was not able to verbalize anything, but I knew in my heart that I was on the mend.
And I was.
On November 8 (which was day 24), I went to see Coach – as I had not seen him in over a month I was very curious to see how my feet faired, as I was resting so much, they actually liked the time off.
He asked all the details, and I casually mentioned that we lost a month. His response is what shocked me.
“You did not lose a month, you gained a lifetime.”
“What?????” I stared at him only to see the biggest smile spread across his face. “You have crossed a finish line Kerry, you're done.” I was shocked and started to tear up. I asked him to explain his comments. In his opinion he believes that the combination of antibiotics, antivirals, antibacterials, steroids, all of it, were what addressed the underlying infection in my feet (which I did not know about, but I guess he had a suspicion) and now my feet would heal properly.
WOOHOO! PRAISE GOD!
You mean God used covid to heal my feet? Who would have thought something like a worldwide pandemic would be the catalyst that God would use to bring healing to my feet? I have been dealing with them for 1 year and 9 months. And now I have a timeframe of officially being done. That was another thing that happened. Coach gave me a timeframe. I have asked him a gazillion time about this and every time he would say that I needed to take one day at time. That Monday he said 8 months more and I would be completely done.
The LORD replied, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and
I will call out My Name, YAHWEH, before you. For I will show mercy to anyone
I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose.” Exodus 33:19
I did not realize it at the time, but God passed His goodness before us. Yes, His goodness. We had been singing about it, focusing on His Presence in our lives and He chose to pass by.
I stand in awe of You God. I praise You and worship You because You alone are worthy. May I remember this time and be reminded of Your goodness and love. AMEN