On Friday, our daughter-in-law in Stillwater, OK experienced a series of neurological events, including weakness in her left arm and leg, sending her from work to the Emergency Room. After a number of tests, a bit of misdirection, and IMAGINE THIS, in an ER–Waiting! In an effort to leave no leaf unturned or potential threat or cause of her problem undiscovered, they did a carotid artery ultrasound, blood work, and an MRI. Her right carotid artery has significant blockage and she had had some small strokes. At the end of the day they sent her home with instructions to get in to see a cardiovascular surgeon, rest so her brain could heal, and take blood thinners for now.
We have talked on the phone, messaged each other since she got home. We are praying the doctor’s office will be able to fit her in for an appointment, but even with assistance from her primary care physician, that has not happened yet. She is home for now. Frustrated, still experiencing weakness in the left extremities and wondering what to do to heal an injured brain.
Blessing upon Blessing…she, my son, and grandchildren sent me Tulips for Mother’s Day with WISDOM for just this occasion.
In bold letters the instructions declared: REMEMBER YOUR FLOWERS HAVE BEEN ON QUITE THE JOURNEY…I thought, that must be how Martha is feeling, she went to work on Friday anticipating the ordinary day only to be detoured and detained. Undoubtedly she felt and is still feeling road weary.
So first things first according to the Tulip instructions: HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE...cells need water, flower cells and brain cells, to heal. Most of us do not drink enough water and often are dehydrated without knowing it. How can you tell if you are dehydrated, ‘pinch a bit of skin on the back of your hand into a tent, let go of it. If hydrated the skin settles immediately, dehydrated the skin remains tented. Good hydration also leads to clear urination.
To begin the hydration process for the tulips, it recommended cutting at least an inch off each stem to open the portals to receive the water, allowing it to travel upward to the flowers. Perhaps that is akin to what I need to do after a long journey, get my feet up, allowing the blood to flow away from my extremities to my heart and brain.
Drooping tulips are not unlike drooping people so along with the water, they also need NUTRITION for the tulips, plant food for the human, at least nine helpings of fruits and vegetables, Omega 3 meats and a little dark chocolate. I am not a nutritionist by any stretch, but I am sure the fewer processed foods consumed the better one feels.
Next in a time of recovery and renewal, humans like flowers need to follow the experts’ orders.
For flowers the card says after three days, trim the stems again, change the water, and add the second packet of plant food.
For humans I think this applies to MEDICATING and ACTING according to the discharge summary and/or doctor’s prescriptions.
I am also confident of this that recovery from a long journey on the many side roads, bumpy paths, detours of life requires more than physical hydration, nuitrition and medication…it requires SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINE.
Without prayer, one’s own and those of others, without contemplating scripture, without letting go, without reaching out to others even when you feel down, without laughter anxiety creeps in, worries increase and, low and behold, wilting takes hold.
If I let my beautiful tulips, now plumped up and showy simply languish in the vase, forgetting to follow through with the expert’s instructions, I can expect to see their pretty little heads hanging over the side of the vase, gasping for water.
Likewise with us humans. In the words of the Good Physician:
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t there more to life than food and more to the body than clothing? Look at the birds in the sky: They do not sow, or reap, or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you more valuable than they are? And which of you by worrying can add even one hour to his life? Why do you worry about clothing? Think about how the flowers of the field grow; they do not work or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these! And if this is how God clothes the wild grass, which is here today and tomorrow is tossed into the fire to heat the oven, won’t he clothe you even more, you people of little faith? So then, don’t worry saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the unconverted pursue these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But above all pursue his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. So then, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:25-34 NET)