Sunday, August 24, 2014

Month 11(prt 2): Ammunition To Fight

This month was not what I had expected. I thought when Dr.N said I had turned the corner I would have seen only positives this month. That wasn't the case. I ended up at Urgent Care, went to ER, been in more pain than I have in a while, dealing with totally unnecessary drama, and some of my symptoms have come back :/ 

I hate Chronic Lyme Disease. 

As I write this I'm at home while everyone else is at church. My husband, family, friends and small group are all at church and I'm so bummed I'm not there. I was going to go because this weekend is a huge party to launch the small groups and invite people to join in community- cause life should not be done alone. But I'm super irritable, overly sensitive  (sound and light) and in pain. Yes, I'm having a pity party in my room.  

I've been trying my best being positive. Writing down what I'm thankful for and what blesses me. I've been trying to surround myself with positive life-giving people. But some days it gets to me. Some days I'm so bummed I'm missing out that all the positive thoughts, praying and thankful lists can't make it better. 

Like for real, I just want to go to the beach or to the zoo or to the state fair or hike ... I want to be human for a bit! No meds to take, no infusing to do, no resting, and no pain! 

I miss life. I miss showers not being marathons. I miss driving my car. I miss making plans and keeping them. I miss not "paying for it" the next day. I miss being able to fill up my whole water bottle alone. I miss hiking. I miss having a hard apple cider. I miss dancing. I miss a lot. From big things to things people take for granted everyday. Things I take for granted.

I think I'm just super disappointed. I thought this month was gonna be different, but instead it's been a plateau... Well, actually, it's been some steps back. My feet started hurting again. The pain in my spleen, lower back, heart and chest is worse. Heart racing, skipping beats, and pausing has been worse. I'm irritable, sound/light sensative again. And the stupid ringing in my ears is loud. Like I-can't-think loud. Among a few other things. 

But I still need to look for the positives. Otherwise this gets too hard. My moods are still pretty stable (I mean for a girl ;). Depression and anxiety have not gotten worse. I have a bit more energy. Can still walk on my own. And the hiatal hernia hadn't caused me any issues in a few weeks! So yay for all that! 

I went to the hormone treatment doctor last week. Let's just say it's a good thing I'm going to her. My blood test came back with my hormones in a few cases being extremely  low.  She works with Lymies as well and said this could be the reason I keep plateauing/relapsing. So this hormone treatment can help the Lyme treatment. Here's to hoping so! 

I'm not depressed. I'm not angry. I'm not bitter or hating life. I'm just disappointed. I'm ready to be in remission. I'm ready to have a job and go to school. I'm ready to live with just me and Tanner. I'm ready to move on from this season of life. I'm ready. And even in the hard, painful, lonely days the readiness is stronger than the sadness. My eagerness to keep fighting this tormenting, despicable, painful disease is stronger than my disappointment that it isn't going how I want. 

And sometimes on the days I can't take anymore, the days I want to pull out the PICC line and call it quits, I feel stronger. Caus, in that moment, I have to make a choice. Do I want it? Do I want to kick Lyme disease in the butt and say I beat it? Do I want that more than having a pitty party and throwing in the towel? Yes! I want it! I want nothing more than to hear Dr.N say "you're in remission". I want nothing more than to tell all of you I beat this. I want nothing more than to be victorious over chronic Lyme Disease. 

And so despite the pitty party happening. Despite the pain and loneliness. Despite Lyme Disease. I fight. And I'll win! Cause I  want that more than I'm tired and sick and hurting. I want to beat this. I have to beat this. 

And in the hardest of days, the days where fighting for my life seems impossible, I ask myself- what do I want more? To let Chronic Lyme Disease beat me? Or for me to beat it? 

• I'm thankful I can live stream church service
• I'm thankful God made me a fighter, more than a conqueror, victorious, passionate, and strong spirited
• I'm thankful for a car ride into the mountains with my husband 

~ "But He gives more grace" James 4:6 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Why I Wouldn't Trade This Season

This is not wasted time. I've been trying to soak up everything I've learned and not miss anything. The things God has shown me and what I've learned and how I've grown makes this season worth it. The good that's come from this outweighs all the crap from it. I've been invited into the Lyme world, in which most people know nothing about. I now know the pain, neglect, financial burden, tears, lost time, lost dreams, abandonment, guilt, and fear of having Chronic Lyme Disease. And I can apply it to help bring hope and encouragment to others. Whatever that looks like. 

Why I wouldn't trade this time for anything:
• If I've learned anything it's about my Jesus' love for me. There is something about all that I've walked through that has made God's love for me undeniable, unshakable, relentless, and true. I know without a shadow of a doubt that Jesus loves me. 
• I'm strong. I don't mean physically. But for crying out loud I've had a PICC line, infused for 6 hours a day, had a colonoscopy, an upper endoscopy, had my blood drawn at least once a week for four months straight(and continuing), too many ultrasounds, and cat scans, MRI, had my stomach pulled down, been in more pain than most people ever will, had injections in my nerve next to my swollen spleen- twice!, been hospitalized many times and left without any answers- just to name a few- and I'm 23. And guess what?!?! I made it! I lived through it all! 
• God's grace is truly enough. All the nights I thought I was gonna die. Layed in bed with Tanner and my mom praying over me. Those nights a normal human would call 911, but I knew they couldn't help me so we prayed and cried through it. It's only by His grace I lived through those nights. 
• Life is so much more precious to me. Every moment is so important. I don't want to waste any of it. I want to soak up every smell and feeling and sight. 
• The power of looking ahead, finding the good, and positive thinking is amazing for the mind. Which then is amazing for the body. 
• God's character and promises have become my foundation, and the most tangible things in my life.
• God doesn't do well in boxes ;) I was anti so many of the things that have gotten me better. God truly does move in mysterious ways. 
• I don't "owe" anyone anything. I can say "no" and I'm totally allowed to say "no". Keeping myself healthy is basically my only job. And the freedom I've found in that has spread into so many other areas of my life.
• Giving up is not an option. I can't throw in the towel. I can't quit the class. I can't walk out or leave the conversation. My only option is to fight and keep moving forward. 
• I would rather only take steps forward as slowly as I possibly can, than move two spaces ahead quickly but then a step back. This is a marathon, not a sprint.
• I have the choice to be furiated and bitter at the people that should have walked this out with me, or I can learn from what they've done and haven't done. I can take notes and learn how to actively help others. I can take what I wish they would have done and what I needed and apply it. One way makes me bitter and stiff, the other brings freedom and stops the vicious cycle.
• I've been invited into a world most people don't know exists. A world full of chronic mental and physical diseases. A world full of Christians that deal with depression and anxiety and PTSD. I'm one of them. Doesn't make us bad people. Doesn't mean we don't trust Jesus. Just means we have an organ, a brain, and they need special attention! No different than someone with liver, kidney, or heart issues.  You can't tell me that there is a difference between someone taking pills for their kidneys and someone taking pills for their brain. 
• I have no idea what the person next to me is going through. The "healthy" looking lady using the electronic wheelchair at Walmart could be fighting bartonella eating at her legs and feet. The  teenager that is angry and hostile could be dealing with spirochetes attacking his brain. The people that get "annoyed" when children are screaming could have extreme sensitivity to sound. And the screaming gives them siezures. The kid that misses school a lot and you think is faking it, isn't. They are truly that miserable and are trying to figure out how  they can hurt so bad, at such a young age, and if it's normal. The woman that is completely ridiculous and has rage and you can't figure out why she can't have self control, is probably dealing with Lyme rage. It's a real thing and can't just stop. 
• And my favorite thing I've learned is that having a disease does not mean I'm being punished and am living in sin. Not being healed instantly when someone lays hands on me doesn't mean I don't have faith. If anything it's the opposite. Cause through all this I still trust Jesus and I know He loves me and my faith is still secure. My faith isn't based off of what Jesus does for me, but who He is. 

All these things just make this season worth it. I wouldn't trade this season for anything. Because without this season I wouldn't have learned all of that. I wouldn't have meet Jesus in such a personal and intimate way. I wouldn't be able to relate with so many other people, in this way. I wouldn't know anything about the Lyme world. 

A dear friend of mine. One of the strongest, sweetest, kindest women I know once told me that ,"God chose you." He knew I wouldn't give up and He allowed me to go to a place seldom people ever get to see. And He's making a message and testimony and powerful God story out of it! I feel privileged that I get to walk this out and learn all that I've learned. Cause I'll never be the same again. In a good way. 

Whatever you are going through, learn all you can. This isn't wasted time. Don't try to get out as fast as you can. Let what you're going through bring hope and encouragment to others walking it out as well. Try thinking the opposite. There is good in this. You just have to look for it.