Tag Archives: sick

Instant Community

A few weeks ago, I was driving home from running Saturday morning errands when I started to feel some abdominal pain. Over the course of the twenty minute drive, I went from, “I’ll just go home and rest,” to, “PAIN! HURTS! SWEATING PROFUSELY! NAUSEA!”

Long story short, I drove straight to the ER, where the doctors diagnosed me with appendicitis. Arriving to the ER at 10:30 a.m., I was in surgery by 3:00 p.m. An appendectomy is not exactly what the 6th day of Christmas ordered, and I was pretty nervous and frustrated about the flights and days of work I would surely miss over the next week.

Between my arrival and the surgery, I could have been very alone and scared were it not for several church members who showed up at the hospital. Turns out, my mother in Texas had called my friend from church in Boston, who called the relief society president, who called the bishop, who called my home teachers, all of whom came to wish me well before the surgery*.

(*relief society president = leader of women in each congregation. bishop = leader of the congregation. home teachers = each person or family has two individuals assigned to check up on them and visit them at least once a month)

One purpose of the visits was to receive a priesthood blessing of comfort and health, a common practice in the Mormon church. We closed the curtain of my ER room while my bishop and home teachers laid their hands upon my head and gave me a priesthood blessing that I would be healthy, calm, and safe. There, in a dreary hospital room, these men called upon the power of God to give one of His daughters much-needed peace.

During the terrible night after the surgery, more church members showed up and kept me company as the effects of anesthesia took an uncomfortable hold. The next day, even more church members came to visit me in the hospital. I never once felt alone. Rather, I was reminded of how much church members deeply care for one another.

The nurses and doctors kept commenting on the continuous stream of visitors, saying things like, “wow, you are really popular,” and, “where are all these people coming from?” This phenomenon isn’t new to me. Growing up, my mom always visited church members in hospitals and cooked meals for families who needed support. My dad was always ready to give priesthood blessings, and many times would do so at all hours of the night.

The sense of love and community is one of the many things I treasure as a Mormon. From Cairo to London to Boston, members in my congregations cared for and supported one another with sincere Christian love. The Mormon ward (or congregation) system is truly inspired. The community is not just a social structure, but also an instant family where members strive (we’re all human after all) to selflessly serve one another.

Finding the Upside

The past couple of weeks have been very difficult ones for me. I am a little embarrassed to admit that I’ve fallen into a little (or a lot) of self pity. I don’t think I’ve mentioned on here yet but I am pregnant with a little girl due in Dec. (which by the way is not the reason for the self- pity). My husband and I are very excited. This pregnancy has been significantly easier than my first, but that says more about the difficulty of my first pregnancy rather than the ease of this one. I’ve still been quite sick but have been able to manage pretty well. However, I’ve found that when I travel (which has been a lot lately) it is really hard on me and takes days to recover. During this last trip home from Utah I caught a really bad cough that I have now had for 2 weeks and am just barely starting to get over it. Because of the pregnancy, I can’t take anything for the cough or the junk in my lungs so I pretty much just get to enjoy the misery in its natural goodness (can you sense my self-pity yet?). This sickness has also brought nausea and vomiting which adds a whole extra layer of fun to the mix.

I would not classify myself as a silent sufferer. I’m normally quite vocal about these types of things. A few days ago while I was, we’ll say, not suffering in silence I saw a video on my Facebook news feed that seriously humbled me and helped change my attitude. The website Mormon.org has a Facebook page that every few days shares short inspirational quotes and videos. I recommend that you check it out, it’s how I saw this video.

What I love about this video is its simplicity. It is uplifting and positive in a very natural way. They are just happy people. Pierre Muller found the upside to his situation, and – the humor in it –  which is even harder. He mentioned that it is because of his beliefs that he’s been able to find the upside. We believe that God created man with the intention of being happy and finding the joy in life. This can be a real challenge sometimes but through keeping the focus on the things that really matter–faith, family, and other things that bring joy, I believe it’s possible.

So I decided to find an upside to my situation. My upside is that I don’t normally watch a lot of TV but the last couple of weeks I’ve enjoyed a lot of cooking shows. Cooking is a big hobby of mine. Through having more down time to watch cooking shows I learned a lot of new cooking techniques and found a lot of new recipes that I am really excited to try. Had I not been sick I wouldn’t have learned those things. So what is your upside? If your week/day/year/current situation  has been less than ideal, what upside have you found to help you stay positive?

Priesthood Blessings of Healing

I just got back from a couple of weeks in Utah.  My younger and only sister got married. This trip turned out to be more eventful than planned. A week before my sister’s wedding my dad had to unexpectedly have back surgery. Right before surgery my dad received a priesthood blessing of healing.

Healing priesthood blessings are quite common among Mormons. I have received healing priesthood blessings before and after the birth of my son and at other times when I’ve been very sick. Was I miraculously healed every time I’ve had a healing priesthood blessing? Was my dad miraculously healed after receiving a priesthood blessing? In short, not every blessing has the same results. Some have miraculous healing experiences and some don’t.

Having access to the priesthood is not like have access a magic wand. The priesthood allows worthy members of the Church to do the work of God through His power. If it is God’s will that someone is miraculously healed, they will be. My uncle had a brain tumor when he was 13. It was a type of tumor where the prognosis was not good. He received experimental medical treatments as well as a priesthood blessing. In the blessing he was promised that he would heal and serve a full time mission for the LDS Church and have a family. He was miraculously healed and everything he was promised in his blessing eventually happened.

My dad was not necessarily miraculously healed. After receiving the blessing he still needed surgery and there will most likely be lasting effects from his problem. However, he was blessed with the strength necessary to face his challenges. He was able to enjoy my sister’s wedding day and dance with her at the reception even though 6 days before he had had serious back surgery.

Sometimes a healing priesthood blessing takes the health challenge away and sometimes we are able to have borrowed strength from our Savior to endure, either way, I think it is pretty miraculous.