Archive for September, 2016

Day 63 – Diabetes, still in

Shocked when I first heard the word, but the high steroid use has meant I now need insulin 4 times a day to control blood sugar levels. When I discharge I will probably still be on steroids and will need some kind of insulin, whether needles or tablets. In good time hopefully I can come off the steroids and God-willing off the insulin. There is a chance I may be a diabetic for life. Please pray this isn’t the case. As with all news it hits hard at first but then you get used to it. It seems for now an inconvenience that the nurses handle and I’ll take it day by day after that. My diarrhea is reducing and so they are slowly reducing the steroids. It’s slow going, but I am managing to get out of the hospital for an hour or two each day to go to the unit, which has been nice. I was reminded this morning from John’s Gospel that through the Spirit the Father and Son come and make their home in us. That’s a profound, marvelous and comforting truth. The Trinity who pre-exist time, space, and matter, are living in me, undeserving, weak, flawed sinner that I am. What an amazing love that God would do that!


Day 59 -Still eating, still inside

I continue to slowly struggle through this new thing called eating. My stomach has shrunk considerably after not being used for  such a long period of time so it’s easy to feel bloated all day. I find I have to eat small amounts. I’ve been disconnected from the pole for a few days in a row, so that’s given me some freedom to go back to the unit with Mum and Dad. My sister arrives today for a week, which is a an absolute treat, so I’m really looking forward to that. It’s a long road but I continue to walk it knowing my loving Father who has set it before me for my good. Thanks for all your prayers. Please pray that my gut will settle down well and tolerate this food.

Day 52 – Turning a corner?

It’s early days yet, but perhaps the new drug is starting to have an effect. I’ve started with the very mildest of attempts to consume food – just a spoonful of jelly at each meal to test out how the gut is going. So far so good. I also had a good night sleep last night using a new sleeping tablet which feels like it’s transformed my life. It’s amazing how sleeplessness saps your will and a good night sleep brings a whole new lease on life. I think I’ve been suffering from sleeplessness for many days now, given the new energy I have today. So today is a good day and God-willing we’re turning a corner. Thank you for your prayers and pray that this new drug is kicking in and countering my GVH. Praise God that he is in control and all things happen in his timing. We take it day by day in the footsteps prepares for us.

Day 49 – GVH still going

My Graft Vs Host Disease (GVH), where my new immune system is attacking my bowel, continues and hasn’t been controlled by the steroid treatment, so now we’re moving on to a more specialized drug that specifically targets inflammation. It’s quite expensive, so they’ve left it till last and it may take a week before we know if it’s been effective. The main symptom remains diarrhea which continues, although the amount has reduced. I tried a clear fluid diet for about a day and a half but it became obvious that the bowel was not tolerating any food or drink and so had to stop again.

This is obviously disappointing news, but we take the good with the bad all from God’s hand and continue to praise him, taking it a day at a time. Nothing much has changed for the day to day life in the hospital. Tomorrow will be half way to the 100 day mark when I can go home. Despite all that’s happened it feels like it’s gone quick. Please pray that I can continue in a positive frame of mind resting on God’s strength and goodness, and pray that the new drug will have a decisive effect quickly, effectively blocking the GVH effects on my bowel.

Day 45 – Still In

They continue to treat what’s called graft vs host disease (GVH), where my new immune system is attacking my bowel, causing diarrhea. I haven’t eaten for over a week, being fed through IV. Each day is the same and has been a challenge to fight the hospital boredom. I have some pain from stomach cramping but the staff do well to help with pain relief. This is certainly the hardest thing I’ve done in my life. I spend most of my awake time now reading or watching TV in order to fight the boredom. I feel weak, but I know God is good and is seeing me through. Thank you for you prayers. It looks unlikely I’ll be out of hospital inside a week, but I’m learning patience and humility as I wait for the process of treating the disease to be complete. The good news is that my blood counts are strong now and I’m only receiving the odd blood product. Please pray that they find the right mixture of medication to counter the GVH and that I can have patience in the face of this boredom and weakness.

Day 35 – Counts Improving

yyyThere’s two things keeping me in hospital at the moment. The first is diarrhea and the second is low counts. But my counts have begun to improve. The immune related counts have already been going well, but it’s the blood counts that are turning around, meaning less blood transfusions and making the case to go home stronger. They’ve decided to do more investigation with the diarrhea, so I’m lined up for a colonoscopy on Monday morning,  which hopefully will give them the clarity they’re looking for in regards to the source of the diarrhea. The risk is graft versus host disease, where my new immune system attacks my body, in this case particularly my gut. They want to know for sure if that’s what’s happening. In the meantime I continue in the hospital routine, whiling the time away, trying to use my time as effectively as possible. Some days are better than others. Please pray that they’ll get some clear answers and that I’ll be able to leave hospital soon.

Reflections on Luke 14:15-24 Read the passage

This parable is about the surprise nature of who will be in the kingdom. Given that Jesus’ is at a Pharisee’s house it’s ultimately about the shift from entering the kingdom because you’re Jewish, to entering the kingdom because of your connection with Jesus. The expected guests of the man didn’t value their invitation and come up with comical reasons for why they can’t come (v18-20). Angered by their rejection the man calls in everyone who will come, including the most surprising members of society (v21-23). The Jews, and particularly the Pharisees expected to be in the kingdom because of their heritage and good works, but they rejected Jesus, the king of the kingdom. So now the kingdom is open to all. Have you entered the kingdom through faith in Jesus? Are you trying to welcome in anyone who will come, like the servants of the host?