~~~~~~~~~ "We are here for only a moment, wanderers and sojourners in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace." I Chron. 29:15 NLT

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Living With Challenges

Maybe I've mentioned this before, but if not, here it is:  I'm going to quit going to doctors, well maybe I'll go to one if I have to.

Every time I go to a doctor I am subjected to another test or two which results in another diagnosis or two.  My mother-in-law attributed her health and long life (103 yrs.) to the fact that she stayed away from doctors.  She may have been right!

Now, I say, if I had a preference I would not choose Celiac Disease, which makes me change my diet--no gluten allowed.  I must avoid all wheat, barley, and rye products.  But there it is, and it's best I claim it before I suffer the worst consequences, which is a long list of illnesses I don't want, and including some of the things I already have that could get worse.  Honestly, I was almost sure I didn't have Celiac as I have few of the symptoms.

When I was in my twenties I was diagnosed with Grave's Disease, an autoimmune thyroid disorder, which caused me to keep losing weight until I was down to 98 pounds.  (You would not believe it now!)  I chose RAI (radioactive iodine) treatment instead of surgery.  Sometimes I wonder if that was a good decision.  With hardly nothing left of my thyroid gland, I'm totally dependent on the correct dose of prescription thyroid hormone replacement.

Some doctors consider symptoms of low thyroid, others depend solely on the TSH test which shows how much thyroid hormone is circulating in my body.  It's only after I've gained an extra 10-15 pounds and feel a real lack of energy (an honest couch potato), that the endocrinologist will finally increase the thyroid hormone replacement.  Sometimes the pounds will start going back down, but often I have to starve myself a little to get it going.

It's a real roller coaster ride!  Up, down, up, down.  Am I having fun yet?  Not!

So here I sit, a real conglomeration of autoimmune disorders: thyroid disorder, fibromyalgia (which I think is the result of a malfunctioning thyroid), diabetes II, peripheral neuropathy (the painful, rather than the numbing, kind--not caused by my diabetes II, but by autoimmune something), a striated muscle antibody, which could be another autoimmune disorder, or when added to other symptoms could be Myasthenia Gravis--what Onassis had--or a marker for cancer. Most recent discoveries are GERD (yep they found that too), and Celiac.

At least I can be thankful for one or several things.  Most of these autoimmune symptoms are mild enough that it's been several years since I've had a full-blown -- darn, what's the word I'm looking for here? -- Anyway, my ANA, when last taken, was almost normal compared to a high 1-1280 ten years ago, which probably means nothing to some people.

I spend a lot of time trying to keep track of what I can or can't eat, taking my blood sugar;  and trying to keep myself from giving in to depression.  I keep telling myself, I can do this, I'll be okay, God is in control...but when can I get to a "normal" place in my life?

Thank God for the health of the rest of my family, and that I can still enjoy our grandkids, and our daughter and son.  Yes, thank God for all the health I do have left.

I sometimes read the obituaries of many who have died that are younger than me.  I check to see if my name is there, and once I know it's not, I count my blessings and keep going.

"But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret.  We will not all die, but we will be transformed!  It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown.  For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever.  And we who are living will also be transformed."  I Corinthians 15:51-52

Monday, September 05, 2011

Blah--What? Two posts in one day?

Did you ever go to the doctor feeling fine and come out feeling horrible?  Last Thursday I had a stomach endoscopy by a really nice doctor.  Well, I thought he was nice.  I had virtually no symptoms, now I've got 'em for gastritis and GERD! Then I added insult to injury by looking on the internet for information.  Now I really feel bad!  Actually, I'm feeling as good as can be expected.  Honestly I thought I was too laid back to have these stress-related disorders.

Apparently, I need to do some in-depth examination to see what I'm not doing right and what the heck I'm doing wrong to bring on this bad stuff.  But, wasn't it in-depth stuff that got me here in the first place?

How about an appeal for deliverance, "Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed within me;  my heart within me is distressed?" Psalm 143:4; and then in Psalm 131:1, "Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor my eyes lofty.  Neither do I concern myself with great matters, nor with the things too profound for me."

If I must not concern myself with great matters nor with things too profound for me--although if it applies to you that's fine too...Having read and said that:  I need to make a commitment to stop watching TV, reading too many books, writing too many books (obviously even one would be too much, since I haven't written any:  Ecc. 12:12), trying to figure out economics and politics, trying to figure out the mind of a woman...Oh, oops, that would bring me right back to me when I'm not s'posed to concern myself with anything profound~~Ohhh, I'm getting dizzy.

There you have it.  Already, I'm weary of having just said as much or as little as possible without getting into some kind of philosophy or theology of what it means to be alive or a woman.  So, do I or do I not concern myself?

"Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with his/her mother;  like a weaned child is my soul within me."  Ps. 131:2.   If  only...

If only I would simplify my life by getting rid of stuff (mostly books) and the idea that I need to be concerned with things too lofty for me, and do my duties as a woman without thought or complaint, not only my life, but the lives of those around me would be simpler, right?

If only I could get a grip.  I'm 65, feeble and frail, synonym intended, and still haven't got figured out why I'm here.  Or, I've been in rebellion for almost a hundred years.  If only someone would tell me why I'm still around, although I've been tugged in several different directions--too bad I've only got 2 hands and 2 feet.

While I'm entertaining the "if onlies" I've gotta get away from this perplexing situation and indulge in some of that everyday busy-ness of making meals, doing laundry, washing dishes, cleaning up after myself, my man, and a couple of useless house cats.  Altho' the cats are a nice soft landing for banging my head when I have a day like today.  Poor kitties.  Innocent animals often have the big job of being sympathizers to ruthless humans.

Praise the Lord

I'm doing cartwheels, hand-stands, head-stands and yelling "praise the Lord," every opportunity I have.  And if you believe this, you believe in miracles.  Now, that wasn't so hard was it--to believe in miracles?  Of course, if you know me you'll know how impossible it really is for me to do all these things, except praise the Lord, and some of you might even have your doubts about that when you've seen ?me on a really bad day.

We are experiencing beautiful weather here in Central Kansas.  Daytime temps in the 70's, nighttime in the 50's.  It looks as if we're going to have to get out our sweaters and jackets.  Probably not as Kansas weather has a reputation for being willy-nilly.  Really!  We could possibly see another 3-digit-temperature day or week, but the current heat-cycle totaling over 50 days of 100-plus degrees has been broken.

Temps in the 70's, low 80's, is feeling just right.