Saturday, April 20, 2013

Our New "Reality"

First of all, my sincere apologies for not writing sooner.  Once I explain why I haven't done so, I am sure you will forgive me...(one can always hope, right?)  It's been a long past few months with lots of ups and downs in life, and I honestly was just too tired and couldn't really get my thoughts together to actually focus on typing out a blog.  However, I figured that since we've had some pretty big things happening in our little family, it only makes sense to update you all with what's going on.

Before I get to the main thing I want to share, let me just say that we're blessed.  2013 has been a great year for us so far in the midst of trials and tribulations that have come our way.  The Lord has been and continues to be faithful in carrying us through everything we endure on a daily basis, and I am forever thankful.  Guido and I have been doing a lot of dreaming this year as we've both felt the Lord telling us that 2013 is the year that He is making our dreams come true.  While I won't get into details just yet, let me just say that some exciting things have been and continue to happen for us.  It's just rad.

Now onto the main reason for writing this post.  For those of you who know me personally, I may or may not have shared that I have been struggling with some real physical issues for several months now.  Between major pain in my hands to the point of not being able to use them to shooting pains throughout my body to migraines to lack of sleep to a million other things...and so on and so forth.  You get the picture.  It wasn't pretty.  I really thought I was headed towards a burnout last year.  It was Sinterklaas evening (December 5th) when reality finally hit.  Guido and I had had a conversation that evening about how I had been struggling for a few months now, and so we made the decision together for me to see our family physician.  At the appointment, I explained my symptoms and the doctor agreed that I was probably overdoing it and needed to rest more.  He also had me start physical therapy on a weekly basis in order to help strengthen my body.  Some time went on, I was going to my therapy session, and I realized that I wasn't feeling better.  Sure...I had some good days with much less pain, but most of the time I suffered...A LOT.  I wasn't sleeping well, and I also began having constant and very intense migraines that I could hardly bear.

With all of this going on, I contacted my doctor again.  I was given a referral to see a neurologist, especially because I was having feelings of numbness and also some blurred vision, along with the other symptoms that were already there and even began intensifying.  At that appt., it was determined that there was nothing wrong with me neurologically, as I was told by the specialist.  Well thanks.  Good to know, but that STILL doesn't explain what's been going on with my body for the past several months.  So I went back to the family physician yet again.  He explained to me that the neurologist mentioned that he thinks I may have fibromyalgia, and my doctor agreed.  So I then received a referral to see a rheumatologist.

Fast forward to last week Monday.  I went to the appointment, spoke with the rheumatologist, and he did a full examination.  He told me what I pretty much already knew.  "There is a very large chance that you have fibromyalgia." He gave me paperwork to get blood work done in order to rule out any other possible cause for what's been going on.  I will get that done next week, and then I will go back to see him in May to discuss further the results and more about treatment and such.

So there you have it.  Fibromyalgia.  I had heard of the word before, but I had absolutely no idea what it entailed.  After my family doctor mentioned it to me and explained briefly about why he and the neurologist believe I have it, I began doing a little research of my own before my rheumatologist appointment in order to help me understand what we're dealing with here.  I've read a lot so far, and Guido has also read some things.  We both agreed that it makes absolute and total sense as far as what I have been dealing with the months now.  And come to think of it, it explains things I have dealt with my entire life.  It could very well be that this thing has acted a bit dormant most of my life and was triggered by something sometime last year.  Who knows.  I guess I will learn more about that at my next appointment with the rheumatologist.

This word in our house has become our new "reality." Yes, I am using quotation marks.  Why?  Because, despite the fact that I most likely have this chronic illness NOW, it does not mean I will have it forever.  We, as a family, have made the decision to fully trust God in this journey and believe Him wholeheartedly for full healing and restoration from this.  I do not believe that the Lord has inflicted me with this in any way, but I DO believe that He can and WILL use this for His glory in order to encourage and bring healing to others through the testimony in my life.  That's my heart's desire.

I'll be honest.  I struggle everyday.  I have some days that I wish I could just stay in bed because of the pain and the exhaustion.  With this, I have experienced periods of great anxiety as well, and it's just plain hard.  I am a woman with goals and dreams, I am a wife and a mother, and I have to make a daily decision to wake up and get out of bed and make the most of my day with my husband, kids, and anyone else who I cross paths with.  I refuse to feel sorry for myself or let others feel sorry for me.  I do need support and encouragement from family and friends.  You don't have to fully understand how it feels to endure something like this, but I trust that you will love me through it anyway and be supportive.  And I appreciate you more than you will ever know.

So now we wait.  We wait for the next appt. with the rheumatologist to get the official diagnosis and discuss treatment options.  And in the midst of it all, we have been dealing with some medical issues with both of our kids that we will hopefully have more answers for in the coming weeks.  So yeah, it's a lot.  But it's not too much.  Though it feels like it some days, it's not.  We can bear it because Jesus promises us that He will never give us more than we can handle, and He is with us every step of the way.  And I feel pretty okay knowing that and walking this journey together with Him, knowing that I will never have to go it alone. Ever.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, Jessica, I had no idea you were dealing with so much. So sorry you have to go through this! It's tough being a wife and mom and having severe health issues to go along with it. I will pray for you and hope that God will heal you and use you for His glory and honor! Mary Ann