..."LORD why are You not giving me patience? That’s all I asked You for. It’s not working. GIVE ME PATIENCE PLEASE!"
After expressing myself about the “while you’re at work and I’m here with your mother” situation to Anton, he dropped a bomb on me; she was detoxing. I knew that she’d been addicted to an illegal drug and sought out help, but I thought that she was long done with the “rehab” portion. However, she had still been in the middle of it when they left for Japan. My mother-in-law was battling withdrawal from Methadone treatment. It took two-1/2 weeks. Anton congratulated his mother when she announced to him, “It’s all out,” and so, she emerged from her bedroom more frequently. From then on, though I took detours, we collided on a one-way road.
Nothing I did was right. Well, not actually, if I didn’t do it her way, it wasn’t right. Because she was not a military dependant or did not have an international driver’s license, whenever she wanted something from the store, I had to go. Not a problem, I knew this before she came. However, it was a problem that she needed something only during the week, (Anton worked Mon-Fri and one weekend out of the month), and sometimes multiple times throughout the day. My mother-in-law’s attitude caused some of our friends to stay away. They didn’t completely abandon us; they just felt more comfortable with us visiting them in their homes. We were no longer entertaining guests. If I told our daughter no about something she wanted, her grandmother said yes. I began to feel as if I were living in her home, not my own.
Anton requested that his mother and brother become dependants; request denied based upon lack of information. Their 90 day visiting allowance in Japan was nearing so off to the Embassy they went to petition an extension based on the pending of the second attempt at becoming dependants. They were granted 90 more days. In the middle of January, Anton received notification that his request had been denied again. Therefore, plans to send them back were made. In February of 2005, without a home of their own to go to, my in-laws went back to the U.S.
Our second-born, a son, debuted in April of 2005 and shortly after I began meeting with the ENT again. Our new “date” was set for some day in September of 2005 and this time, Anton didn’t have to take leave because of prayer, the Commander of the hospital approved him for convalescent leave. But, at the end of July, while Anton and I were attending a seminar at the Bases’ Chapel, my stomach pains came back. This time, I retreated into the fetal position on the floor in tears. It felt different. Anton stood over me, begging me to get up so that he could take me home. I told him that I didn’t think I’d make it home and should try going to the hospital again.
Time machine: August 2003. Our first-born is two months old when, not only had the nodule appeared, but also my stomach would hurt really badly. It hurt so bad that I would have rather given birth again. Doubled over, Anton took me to the emergency room. The doctor poked, looked, and listened; nothing. She began questioning me about "Evelyn's" delivery; all went well. “Could you be pregnant again?” she asked. I told her no because my monthly cycle had already come back. The Physician informed that that meant nothing and she ordered a pregnancy test; negative. She then performed an internal examination in search of any foreign material that may have been accidentally overlooked after labor; nothing, all clear.
There were no answers. Over the next two years, I’d gone back to the hospital about six times with the same complaint. Once I was told that it was gas, another time they called it GERD, an internal examination was performed again, once Physician suggested that I had been affected with an STD, and finally, I was even told that it was just my insides settling back into their normal position after childbirth. Though my symptoms remained the same, I received different diagnoses. I was one frustrated woman. I felt crazy. No one could accurately access my problem. Whenever the pain would come again, I just waited it out.
I gave up.
Back to 2004:
Someone wheeled me into the emergency room while Anton parked our vehicle. I regurgitated. “Get her some fluids! Ma’am, can you tell us what the problem is? Are you taking any over-the-counter medications that may have caused your symptoms?” All I said was, “NO, NO, NO!” Anton began explaining my “episodes” to them and after they asked what I’d just eaten, the doctor administered Zantac, sent me home, and told me that he’d be there all weekend so come back if I didn’t feel better. At home, in pain, I laid in bed. I couldn’t even nurse my infant.
The next day, we hosted a cookout at our home for a missionary couple that came to Misawa in the months that had five Sundays. Still in pain, I hid upstairs. A Sister brought my son to me saying that I had to try and nurse him because he would not take the bottle from anyone and so that I wouldn’t become engorged, which would cause more pain. She helped me sit up to nurse for as long as I could stand it and then tried to slip him the bottle. Later in the evening, my pain subsided a little so I decided to make an attempt at eating. Only after, literally, one bite the pain intensified. Per a Brother’s suggestion, I researched the Internet.
Armed with some enlightening medical information, I headed back to the hospital…
“…Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s…You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you…” 2 Chronicles 20:15-17 NIV