Monday, November 12, 2012

Layers and laughter...

One of the bits of advice about dealing with Raynaud's Syndrome was to wear layers. That literally made me laugh.  Anyone who really knows me knows that I already do.

I wear them because I have always cotton to the fashion style of them  I wear them because layering is more comfortable to me.  I wear them because layers make me feel safe.  And I suppose it would be fair to also say that I wear them to keep me away ...  to a degree ... from the rest of the world.

Were I a fan of irony, I believe it would be accurate to categorize the fact that the gastroparesis and the small bowel bacterial overgrowth oft make it impossible to wear anything at all on my mid-section.  Today's misery level has left me lying in bed the whole day -- save for necessity -- because bending my mid-section is not something I am of a mind to do.  Frankly, I doubt even an insane person would want to do so, much less a sane one.

I have not words for why layers make me feel safe.  I honestly do not have the words to explain how difficult it is for me to not even be able to wear a bra because the swelling in my abdomen is that high.  The undershirts I used to wear each day now leave my entire mid-section feeling pummeled and bruised.  Systemic problems caused by neurological dysfunction.  An impossibility the likes of which I could wish I never knew.

Today, I spent my time trying to hold off any and all cloth from touching my abdomen, whilst simultaneously trying to keep note a mote of air from creeping beneath the blanket lest my fingers or toes become too cold or the chills set in or my body temperature start falling and the shivering begin.  I have two heating pads -- one for upstairs and one for down -- because heat helps the pain when anything heaver than a feather does not leave my writhing.  Today, I used them to try and warm up the air beneath my covers so that my bare skin would not be so icy.

It makes me laugh that layers are the answer to two main issues in my life and yet nakedness is the solution for another.  It makes me laugh that sometimes the greatest comfort in my life is having a lump of puppy draped across my person.  And sometimes his loving attention greatly magnifies my agony.  It makes me laugh that cold causes one set of problems and heat another.  It makes me laugh that our Triune God shows His strength in our weakness and through our brokenness He makes us whole.

Strange how close companions laughter and tears can be.

A Facebook friend, Pastor Donavon Riley, did not know the day I was having, but the Holy Spirit did.  Knowing how much I savor and find refuge in the Psalter, he sent me a translation of Psalm 16 on which he was working:

1 Protect me, O God, for I hide myself in You.
2 I say to the LORD, “You are my LORD. I have no good apart from You.”
3 And to the saints who are in the land, “They are excellent, in whom is all my delight. “
4 Those who chase after another god will increase their sorrows. I will not pour out their drink offerings of blood,
nor take up their names on My lips.
5 The LORD is my portion and my cup. You hold my lot.
6 The measuring lines have fallen for me in pleasant places.
Yes, my inheritance is delightful for me.
7 I will bless the LORD who has counseled me; at night my heart also instructs me.
8 I have set LORD always before me. For He is at my right hand, therefore I will not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices. My flesh will also dwell free from care.
10 For you will not abandon my soul to hell, nor give up Your Holy One to the grave.
11 You will make me know the path of life. Your favor is fullness of joy. Pleasures are at Your right hand forever.

Psalm 16 (trans. mine -- verse 10 is the kicker)

Lord, have mercy.  Christ, have mercy.  Lord, have mercy.

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