Friday, October 9, 2015

A Healing Journey

Sunset over Tracy Community Church

So here's a little insight into what our last year has been like...

In October of 2014 I was diagnosed with two herniated discs in my lower neck, basically right where my neck meets my shoulders. It was causing an intense amount of pain. I spent the whole month of October on my face on the couch. I began feeling better as November wore on, and was at least able to function mostly normally by Christmas. Funny thing happened during that time though, I ended up having multiple gallbladder attacks -- a sharp pain in my shoulder then spreading throughout my abdomen from the right side. Yeah, no bueno. 

So, I had to have surgery. I had my gallbladder removed in January of this year. It took the full three weeks recovery time for me to even get out of bed. It just seemed like one thing after another. Needless to say I was depressed. I kept thinking, I should write about this. But I had nothing good to say. It's funny how when hard things happen it's so easy to shut down. I spent much of this difficult time wrestling with my emotions, uncontrolled in my eating habits, and definitely not exercising. Then hubby got sick. February, March, and April were spent trying to figure out what was going on and how to get him better. We can't explain exactly what it was except a combo of stress, bad eating habits, a spine out of alignment, and some pulled muscles, which together caused a whole lot of bad symptoms. Then we started to see the light.

Flashback to the beginning of 2014, I heard the Holy Spirit telling me one word: Presence. I felt like He wanted me to seek Him, to press in, to spend time deepening my relationship with Papa God. Now I know why. This has been a difficult road. I'm such a positive person by nature. It was like the life got sucked out of me and I was stuck without breath, and very little hope. But I know The Hope. And whenever I could muster I would seek His presence. Not like the Jesus-I-know-You're-with-me kind of presence, more like the if-I-don't-feel-you-wrapped-around-me-I-Will-Die kind of presence. There was lots of crying. (Which, if you know me, is totally to be expected! LOL) And slowly, but surely, the hope overtook the depression. Hubby and I started exercising some and in May we (I very reluctantly) decided to do an elimination diet to figure out if there were any food sensitivities that might be causing our symptoms. Wow! We started to feel better. The fog was lifting.
Monterey Beach -- What a beautiful day!
Then the leg cramps started. SERIOUSLY?! My calves would seize up and feel almost like a leg cramp, but just before. I
spent my birthday sitting on a bench looking at the beach and crying because all I wanted to do was walk the beach. It didn't seem like too much to ask. Every step reminded me how helpless I was. I walked around on the verge of tears for weeks. I decided to go the doctor. I found out that my Vitamin D was low, but other than that he could not explain the symptoms. Over a couple months I had several appointments for blood tests and results. And over that time my symptoms subsided. I started to notice a pattern of when my calf pain would return. I'm not quite sure but I think there are some preservatives to blame.

Then the final blow (hopefully!) my doctor had asked if we could run a cholesterol panel. It came back pre-diabetic, on the edge of high cholesterol -- my bad cholesterol is way to high, high triglycerides, too much inflammation. WHATTHEHECK! I was angry. 600 pound people on The Biggest Loser are pre-diabetic! I'm nowhere near that. Not fair. Not cool. Not me! Hubby was really worried and asked if we could implement my long put-off Whole 30-like diet. I think I was just mad enough that I was willing. Since the first gallbladder attack in February of 2014 I knew I needed to change my diet. I knew I needed to listen to my body. But the doctor gave me medicine and told me I had to take it. I had Barrett's Esophogus (a disease in which your esophageal tissue begins to mimic stomach tissue because of the corrosion of stomach acid overflowing into the esophagus) and it is pre-cancerous. I felt defeated then. Now I am refusing to lie down and take it.

Hebrews 10:23 says, "Let us hold unswervingly to the faith we profess, for he who promised is faithful." There is no one bigger than my God. There is no disease, no lie, no heartache, no depression, no pain. God has allowed this time in my life for reasons that only He knows right now. My job is not to give in and give up. It's to hang on and dig in to Him who promised that He has a plan for my life, that now matter what comes my way it will be for my good and His glory. I must choose to believe that He is faithful even when I don't see it. He has brought me this far. He will not fail me now. He CANNOT fail me. "For no word from God will ever fail." Luke 1:37

The Loves of my life!

So I will remain steadfast. I will set my face like a flint. I will do what God has called me to do and be who He's made and equipped me to be. I will thank God over and over for a husband who loves me enough to make me take care of my body, and boys who keep me running in circles. 

He is my shield, my very great reward. (Gen 15:1) Nothing else really matters.

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