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Gravity storms, migraine drizzles, and a steel tattoo…and Calvin

November 12, 2007

The pattern, “that which I love best makes me sick,” continues, and it just will, until my Addison’s-whacked adrenals and the hydrocortisone forge an accord, because I’m not giving up that which I love best. That which I love best is being among God’s people on the Lord’s day.

Yesterday’s expense of every mg/dL of cortisol that I had and likely some that I didn’t was very much worth it, even though garnished with morning and afternoon migraines. Those were likely the festive way my system chose to celebrate a night of zero sleep. The sleep thing really needs to be prominent on the docket at our next visit to Dr. M.

The drive east to Enumclaw was beautiful and strange. Auburn, west of Enumclaw, is beautiful and strange. Once past the Muckleshoot tribe’s megacasinos, one passes serene farmlands with corrals and horses and cows, large-animal practice veterinary offices, and farm stores. It’s lovely country, and I wish we’d thought to buy a chunk of it before prices became dreamstuff.

We paid our first visit to Sovereign Grace Baptist Church, where Rachel’s dad, Doug Edwards, is pastor. Pastor Don Lindblad of Trinity Reformed Baptist, our sister church, was guest preaching, so we came for the double-hitter of hearing Don and my getting to squeeze Rachel hard before she becomes a new mother in March. We enjoyed our time there mightily, notwithstanding the migraines’ intrusion and fatigue.

Saturday a slim Tyvek envelope arrived in the mail, the emblazoned return address ensuring that our devoted mailman could not possibly miss the fact that I was the recipient of a medical ID bracelet. I hoped against probability that something was misspelled and I could send it back, but the company had done its job as requested: Addisons/Hydrocortisone. I chose to omit the apostrophe in keeping with the Starbucks and Alzheimers models. I omitted the word “disease,” reasoning that the EMTs would figure it out once they checked my ID and realized my name was not Addison. Besides, there are not going to be any EMTs because I am going to be far from trouble. I am wearing the bracelet at my doctor’s request and will minimize my bridling. Rachel thought it was very cute.

Once fastened on, there seems to be no way to unfasten the cute accessory without marring it with a tool. It’s very lightweight and unobtrusive, so it isn’t a problem to leave it on. Stainless steel is not magnetic, so I wonder whether I could keep it on for an MRI. But that bridge isn’t on today’s route.

So now I have a surgical stainless steel tattoo. It isn’t as though a day could go by that I would forget what it says. Girlfriends, please: if it happens to poke out from behind my watch where it slips conveniently out of sight when not in use, please act jealous and say how much you’d like one too.

Calvin had some very reassuring words for me this weekend in the Institutes at III.VIII.8:

“Yet such cheerfulness is not required of us to remove all feeling of bitterness and pain. Otherwise, in the cross there would be no forbearance of the saints unless they were tormented by pain and anguished by trouble. If there were no harshness in poverty, no torment in diseases, no sting in disgrace, no dread in death–what fortitude or moderation would there be in bearing them with indifference? But since each of these, with an inborn bitterness, by its very nature bites the hearts of us all, the fortitude of the believing man is brought to light if–tried by the feeling of such bitterness–however grievously he is troubled with it, yet valiantly resisting, he surmounts it. Here his forbearance reveals itself: if sharply pricked he is still restrained by the fear of God from breaking into any intemperate act. Here his cheerfulness shines if, wounded by sorrow and grief, he rests in the spiritual consolation of God.”

  1. November 12, 2007 1:19 pm

    Many things around here are beautiful and strange, Seattle today is just strange.

    But the Calvin quote is beautiful in timeliness.

    The nice thing about a surgical steel tatoo is that it goes with everything, especially cheerfully-colored T-shirts.

  2. November 12, 2007 1:31 pm

    Cheerfully colored T-shirts are my favorite garments–as long as they don’t say Addisons on them.

  3. Janet permalink
    November 12, 2007 2:22 pm


    Regarding the mailman, you’re probably right. I heard an interview with a mail lady on NPR that was a hoot. She knows everything about her customers, even stuff they wouldn’t want her to know. It was really funny, but kind of weird. When one of her customers got his picture in the paper for some good deed, she said she felt proud, like “There he is! That’s my boy!”

  4. November 12, 2007 2:24 pm

    Yes, our Fernando is the neighborhood mediator, bad dog reporter, and all-around info-resource. I wonder whether Homeland Security has thought to tap into this valuable resource.

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