Thursday, October 14, 2010

Crazy days

Yesterday, I went back to the Rheumatologist. I definitely have Rheumatoid Arthritis... and so begins an aggressive treatment plan. The medicine I'll be taking can also be used in cancer treatments - it is that potent. The side effect risks are high and who knows how my body will react to it. It is immune-suppressing, so I had to get a flu shot and pneumonia shot and I'll have to stay away from sick people this winter. They also took 4 vials of blood (again) and did both hand and chest x-rays to have a baseline to compare to later. I will start on three medicines - one will be eased into as another is eased out of. The third is to combat the effects of the other two. I'll be taking two different supplements as well. I feel happy that we finally are progressing and will be treating this icky disease, but I'm also frustrated with the fact that I'll likely battle this the rest of my life. There is no cure. Only treatment. I just keep reminding myself that God is bigger than any disease and that I need to rely on Him for strength when I feel that I have none left.

Right after the boys went to bed last night and the moment I finished telling Tommie all about my doctor's appointment, the phone rang. It was my father-in-law (Tommie's dad). Linda (Tommie's mom) was taken to the ER yesterday afternoon where they discovered a brain aneurysm. (That news certainly made my problems look small.) They flew her via helicopter to a big city hospital and had a neurosurgeon standing by. Last night, they put a catheter into her brain to drain the blood/fluids that were pressuring her brain. That offered some relief, but not enough. Today, they are doing an angiogram to determine the next step and to see whether brain surgery will be required. She is in the neuro ICU and is stable, but serious. The results of the angiogram will tell us how severe this is and whether we need to head up there right away or not. It is kinda scary, but we know that she is in God's hands. As my father-in-law said this afternoon, if it's her time to go, at least we know where she'll be - with our Heavenly Father. I pray that the outcome is quick and positive. Hopefully, they are able to stop the flow and that she recovers in a few days with no lasting problems.

Crazy couple of days... I'm so grateful that God is in control, not me. Somehow, I don't think that I would do a very good job. :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Thoughts about RA, life and God

Do I have Rheumatoid Arthritis? 50% of people with Palindromic Rheumatism will get RA. Well, I'm not positive yet. My blood work came back indicative of RA, but I haven't gone back to the Rheumatologist yet to hear what exactly that means and what we're going to do about it. In the meantime, my joints have gotten progressively worse.
Different joints on different days, but flares have been overlapping. Most mornings, it is difficult to walk - my feet feel like platypus feet, painful to step on and won't fit into shoes very well. Some days I have a body part that just won't work right all day. Do you know how difficult it is to function without shoulders, hips or hands? This was my view this morning. As you can see, at least 3 of my fingers are extremely swollen (and painful). I am unable to make a fist with either hand today, which makes things like pouring coffee, washing my hair, driving, holding a pen, typing... difficult. I push through.
Life goes on with or without me. I refuse to allow joint pain to win.

Typing is very painful today, but also therapeutic. I don't talk about this much to anyone, so it's nice to get this off of my chest. This is probably one of those blog posts that I would rather no one read, but I feel like saying it anyway.

I struggle not with why did this happen or does God love me... but I struggle with a) how can we fix this quickly because I refuse to live the rest of my life with progressively worse pain and b) how can God use this for His glory.
I feel as if I'm letting everyone around me down.
I have held independence, reliability and activity as pillars in my life. Those pillars are being broken. I'm forced to renig on commitments. I'm forced to ask for help and become dependent on others. I'm forced to slow down. And. I. Don't. Like. It.
I'm struggling with how to fully rely on God and not feel guilty that I cannot keep up with the Amy that still lives inside this broken body. The Amy that everyone else still sees and doesn't understand that there is a difference. I'm frustrated.
I have complete faith that God can heal me. The question is: will He? I know many people that believe you can and will be healed if you have enough faith. I also know faithful Christians that have struggled and died. The only thing I know is that my God loves me, He wants the best for me and He is capable of healing me. My job is to praise Him. I'm praying for self-discipline to spend time with Him daily and not worry about others' expectations of me, because right now I don't have it. When I die, those people won't be there - it will be me and Him. Did I love Him? Did I praise Him? Did I serve Him? Do I know Him? Healed or not won't matter then.
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Saturday, October 9, 2010

October 9 - Day 278 of 365

My parents visited this weekend! They took us out for a fancy dinner for our birthdays. Everyone cooperated for the photos... with a little resistance! I threatened to take pics of the food all night, if they didn't pose. :)
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Fall Festival

The local Fall Festival is the biggest event of the year. We took my Mom & Dad with us, so they could have the true local experience. Saturday's weather was beautiful, but unseasonably warm. We enjoyed everything from pronto pups to monte cristos to fried twinkies! The main attraction at the festival is the food, then the rides. It certainly wasn't the kiddie karaoke - yikes!

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Friday, October 8, 2010

October 8 - Day 277 of 365

Why do I have a random photo of an oversized cat and a group of pre-K students, you ask?
I am the oversized cat. Cool Cat is a tool to teach kids about fire safety & prevention. Just another fun part of my job...

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