The Worry Wart in Action

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

  • Matthew 6:25-34

Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

  • Luke 12:22-31

This morning the quiz was, The Worry Wart Quiz, questions relating to worry and anxiety, not very common words in the Bible.  In fact, most of the uses of those types of words are found in the Scriptures above where Jesus is saying, “Don’t do that.”

My mother called me a “worry wart” because I planned a project and then planned for the major, really bad contingencies.  She thought I was being “negative,” but I felt that my result of having almost every project I ever managed on time and under budget was a result of that contingency planning.  That, to me, was a positive thinking method.  I was positive that the worst things that could happen were not unsolvable.  I said almost a completely successful career, but my last job was out of my control.  I was the field engineer within project management and what I got was poorly designed.  Nothing fit and everything had to be field adjusted by me.  With the customer getting angry, the boss, in all his wisdom, told me that my contract work was over, leaving the remainder of the job to be finished late and over budget by someone else.  Odd, the person that took over was the one responsible for all the parts not fitting.

But I have a confession to make.

Last night, as of writing this, I got about two hours of sleep before taking my wife to the dialysis center.  Two days earlier in the week, my wife had gotten out of bed before midnight and fell.  Two nights in a row.

To give a little background.  My wife suffers from End Stage kidney failure.  She has dialysis three days each week, very early in the morning.  As a result, we go to bed very early on those days.  But then my wife contracted shingles.  The doctor gave her three medications to combat the shingles, but the shingle rash continued to grow even with the medication.  Due to the rash hurting, there were few positions in which she could sleep and due to her inactivity, her COPD caused her to have something very close to pneumonia.  Her pulse Ox was the lowest it could be without an immediate trip to the hospital, but when they did x-rays, she did not have pneumonia.  Odd, they never called it something else.  We are thinking extremely bad bronchitis.

So, here I was doing breathing treatments every four hours and she was taking three drugs that had odd side effects.  Then, shingles has odd side effects.  Whether drug interactions that were not expected or disease side effects, she woke up before midnight to go to the bathroom.  She was incapacitated by whatever side effect she had, and she would collapse on the floor, with arms and legs that were beyond limp.  I would drag her to a position where she and I could work together to get her in a standing position.  Then I would help her to the bathroom and back.  By then, her breathing was so bad that she sounded like a coffee percolator from across the room, no need for a stethoscope.  So, an additional breathing treatment was done each night before she went back to sleep.  Okay, she was asleep by the time the treatment was over, but the nebulizer outlet was still in her mouth, and she was breathing through it.  I would wash everything and get to bed about two in the morning.  On the third night, she did not have anymore pain medication and she slept through the night.  I concluded that the pain meds caused the harsh interaction – taken as prescribed, but an unsuspected side effect.

Only problem was that she finally got the doctor visit after a three day wait to check out the possible pneumonia.  The nurse practitioner gave her more pain meds since the shingles were now in the scabbing over phase, possibly the most painful, plus everything itched.

Now, I was convinced that the pain meds were causing the bad side effect of the rubbery legs at midnight.  As a result, I only slept two hours all night, constantly expecting her to scream that she had fallen again.  She slept like a log all night long.  So much for my diagnosis.  I diagnosed the shingles even though we had both had the vaccine, but the side effect of falling down with no use of arms or legs for a while (like she was drunk without drinking a drop), I was way off on that.

But, here I thought I had my act together.  I trust in God.  I do not worry…  But I did.  Just as I wrote about the Apostle Paul.  He wrote to the Philippians about not being anxious about anything, but then he had already admitted in his letter that sending Epaphroditus back with Timothy would make him (Paul) less anxious.

Jesus told us not to worry, but it is kind of wired into us.  Do not ever tell a loving mother not to worry about her children.  You might get punched in the face.  For they are worrying just about all the time.

And that goes for long-term caregivers.  You never have a day off from the caregiving or the worrying about all the nuances of caregiving.  And as soon as you sit down to watch a football game and get a nice nap, the phone rings.  “Can you get me a fresh cup of ice, if it is not much trouble?”

“No trouble at all, Sweetie.  I was up answering the phone, so I’m halfway to having that cup of ice for you anyway.”

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

4 Comments

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  1. You are on your way to sainthood, Mark❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. One day at a time, Mark. You’ll make it through. You’re in my prayers. Blessings brother.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, that was a week or so ago, and we have a couple of things for the shingles – some not even erupting yet, and some home remedies for the scrabbing stuff, but now my wife’s blood pressure is getting too low. I am thinking dehydration, but too much fluid messes with the dialysis. But as you say, one day at a time.

      Liked by 1 person

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