Wednesday, June 05, 2019

A look in the Mirror

Over the last few weeks I have heard many comments and compliments about how much weight I have lost (close to 40 pounds, and yes I know that is a lot)  My husband has told me how good I look on numerous occasions, people have said wow - you look great..... but to be honest, I look in the mirror and my eyes fill with tears... I see beyond what the scale says, I look and see the fear of the uncertainty, I see the fatigue that holds on like a vengeance, I see the void of laughter and joy that I so desperately long to experience.... I see someone who is struggling to me a teacher, a mom, and a wife... but also struggling to cling cling to the promise that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  You see in the midst of this physical battle, and emotional and spiritual battle is ever present and plagues my heart daily.  I know much of it is caused directly by my condition, yet it is a struggle none the less.  Things that never caused me stress before, now send my adrenaline racing.  Conflict with my child causes me to go from calm to calamity in seconds, and my level of sensitivity to my husband's volume or tone has skyrocketed.  So that is what I see when I look into that mirror.  Today I forced myself to repeat that I was fearfully and wonderfully made.  I was reminded that mirror may reflect the fear, hurt, and fatigue; but it also reflects the image barrier of God, to which I will cling to and remind myself of daily.  Tomorrow my mirror with be covered with reminders of that (that is if I have enough energy tonight lol)

While writing these last two blog post has been therapeutic, as it helped me to put words to the journey that I have been on, it is also quite difficult.   I was planning to write this post last week after my doctor's appointment as I knew that many people were asking about my appointment and praying for answers and clarity to what was going on.  However, the last few days have been a struggle and as I think about what is wrong, and how long the process may be, I get overwhelmed, and just curl up in a ball and cry..... it's not that the diagnosis is that awful, it's more of the fact that I have been so tired for so long and felt so sick in many ways that I just want to get well....immediately - and I know that in this journey, there is not much that has been immediate.  It makes me wonder if I at some point have prayed or asked God to help me with my patience - lol! 

So the long and the short of it is this...... my 5 day steroid treatment basically completely shut down my immune system and in the process, two viruses that were dormant in my body took off and multiplied.  One was the Epstein Barr virus (also known as Mono) my number was to be below 1.0 and when checked the number was 4.7 along with another virus (not sure of what it is but it is also 4.5 instead of a 1.0.  With the viruses going rampant and my immune system being compromised it has caused my adrenal system to have an overreaction, my anxiety to run wild, and for a Mast Cell Activation to occur.  And along with this my body is releasing histamine, which now adds another set of restrictions to my diet, along with no gluten and no dairy.... yes I did cry when he said I couldn't have vinegar for a month - do you realize that everything good has vinegar in it - pickles, ketchup, mustard, salad dressing, marinades, but also I can't have strawberries, spinach, tomatoes, citrus.... Okay now I am just complaining - sorry I just have struggled with the whole food thing.

The good news is that my doctor is confident that I will get better, the issue is that it will take time.  I am now up to about 30 supplements daily as well as two medicines.  I am so thankful for my doctors on this journey.   They have listened to me, dealt patiently with my frustrations with all my bad medicine reactions and they have been so encouraging. 

Am I getting better?  I know that I am in some ways but in each step of the process there are hurdles, and the current hurdle is that I can't really do activity because it causes stress on my body... oh wait... I am supposed to do restorative yoga daily :)  That is a bit challenging but I am thankful for a little yoga buddy who gets down on the floor with me.  The other challenge is that currently I am having swallowing issues, which then leads to panic.  I think it is a combination of the Epstein Barr virus which is making my throat dry and the acid reflux which is causing my throat to feel full and causes swallowing issues.  So if you are willing to pray for that specificially - I would greatly appreciate it.

I had more blood work done on Monday and have a follow up appt. next week.  I know that God has got this.... it is his battle to fight and not mine.... the challenge is to not just know that to be true in my mind, but to trust that in my heart.  God is good, I know he is!  God is with me I know He is!  But my heart is weary and my body is tired. 

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