~~~~~~~~~ "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


Rebecca said...

I'm sad just reading your list of challenges, Jan. I'm sure it's hard to see these pains and problems as "light and momentary afflictions"!

2 Corinthians 4:17-18 came to my mind reading your post--
DEscription: light and momentary afflictions.
PREscription: Fix our eyes on what is unseen not what is seen

Blu-I'd-Blonde said...

Thank you for those reminders. Frankly, I'm feeling a little more like Job every year. At this rate I might end up in a retirement center before hubby does. Hope not.

Jacquelyn Stager said...

First of all, I didn't know you were blogging again. I haven't been over here since you wrote and told me your were giving it up. So welcome back!

Sorry to read about your challenges too. I'll tell you a secret, I feel much the same about going to doctors as you do. I have a very high pain tolerance which is probably a big fault...so I don't go till I'm almost dead.

When did all this start? I so want to fix you. LOL...I wish I could!

I have a ton of aches and pains that I try my best to ignore...like I said, to a fault. I depend a lot of Aleve and Zantac, my drugs of choice. I do better when I drink a ton of water. Have you tried that?

My doctor swears that 90% of the people who are in the hospital wouldn't be if they only drank enough water. hummm....????

Allen and Debby Graber said...

I'm so sorry, Jan. Doesn't it make one look forward to Heaven? Of course, for His presence, but to be in a pain free body. Wow!

Wanda Horn said...

Jan, I think the word you were looking for is "flare." Those of us with fibromyalgia (and, in my case, rosacea)are always on the lookout for the dreaded FLARE! I am interested in your theory that fibro is connected to low thyroid function. I've wondered about that, too, but my thyroid always checks out fine. However, aside from fibro's continual, maddening fatigue and a certain constant pain level, I am a very healthy person, and I am grateful, grateful for that! These are, indeed "light and momentary afflictions" that we walk through on our way to the promised "eternal weight of glory."

Blu-I'd-Blonde said...

Hi, Jacquelyn: I'm glad you found me again and for reminding me about drinking lots of water. All the King's horses and all the King's men can't help; only when I see the King of Kings and Jesus will I be fixed.

Debby, that will be THE Day! I'm envious of all the relatives that have died this year--not that I'm going to take my life in my own hands...but I'm looking forward to being weightless--can hardly imagine that...and the JOY!

Wanda, my former neighbor--how many years? At least 40. It's so good to find you on Facebook. The "flare," the exact word I was searching for! When I first started researching Fibro, I went to several different message boards, and almost all who had Fibro also had experienced some form of thyroid problems. In fact, some doctors agree with that theory. I've often wondered, also, if the internet is to blame for fibro--just another wild theory of mine!

When I had Grave's disease in my twenties, and was treated with RAI I spent 3 weeks in bed (perhaps because I was radioactive, LOL), or because I had waited too long to go to the doc and was pretty weakened by Grave's and the treatment. RAI was pretty new at that time. But then it was my miracle.

Years later I was finally put on thyroid supplement when it was obvious I needed it.

I certainly appreciate all of your comments.

Anonymous said...

very nice post thanks for sharing...i enjoy your blog loves from holland...Jesus loves you