...But, now it's his ear that's an issue.
My poor husband. Talk about kicking a guy when he's down. Last Wednesday, he ended up driving to work, only to be turned around by Tyson to go back home as he had severe vertigo issues: dizzy, light-headed, nausea. Mikayla had been complaining of the same sort of problems the week prior, so I was kind of relieved when my daughter's headaches and dizziness were symptoms of some sort of spreadable virus and not something worse. (Those aren't good symptoms!).
However, John didn't bounce back like Mikayla. At first, our doctor thought it might be a dehydration issue, but after going in to see her on Thursday, it was confirmed that he has fluid in his ear. It's a simplified explanation, but basically, you have little cilia in your ear inner ear that move with your movements and send messages to your brain to compensate for motion. When fluid gets in there, often it can carry particulates that will lodge in next to those cilia and bend them so that they send messages to the brain when they shouldn't. It's an understandable, but very unfortunate scenario.
So, John was told he couldn't travel or work on Friday (which ended up canceling a trip to Portland and entire visit with Julie...so sad) - and that he could start seeing improvement in 2 days - or it could take all the way up to six weeks to get better. Sheesh! The good news is, he's dealt with this before (several years back) and responded well to medicine - and that there is a medicine.
He told me last night that if Wednesday's symptoms rated at a 10, he would be at a 5 or 6 now. So, improvement. Which is good. If we hadn't already dealt with so much stuff, it might be not as big of a deal.
But, I'm telling you, this may end up being a stretch of time for John that is an all-time low for the decade. He is defeated. Moment by moment he's having to make a choice to rise above the discomfort, disappointment, irritability, and bitterness of this situation. The kids and I are at a loss on how to help, and I admit, each of us have failed at different points in the levels of compassion we ought to be extending to him.
There are so many things you can tell yourself (or he can tell himself) of how much worse it could be, how many things he has to be thankful for, how this "season" won't last forever, and, of course, how God will turn this around to be used for good. I know John has dwelled on all those thoughts. But, sometimes you just want to say, "Enough is enough" - and John is definitely there.
Today, Mary Beth and the girls and Leona will be coming over for our Riley Christmas. I can only pray that it is a turning point day for how he's physically feeling and that their presence will bring about much needed encouragement for him emotionally. I am going to hold on to hope that that will all be the case.