Friends and family, thank you again for your continued prayers in the area of my health. I had another doctor's appt this morning and here is the latest...
First, many of you know I've continued to deal with pretty heavy dizziness. Again, the doc could not see anything through the otoscope but the tympanogram continued to be abnormal, showing remaining pressure/fluid in my ears (more in the right one). She's referred me to an ENT to see if I have anything to worry about going on there or simply allergy related issues that aren't showing many symptoms otherwise. She also wants me to increase my fluid intake tremendously as I do a really poor job in that currently.
As far as the other things... and my lab tests... as the doctor expected, everything came back negative. That means most major medical issues have been ruled out- praise the Lord. So...where do we go from here? Honestly, I'm somewhat embarrassed to say what she thinks the issue may be... generalized anxiety disorder. This can lead to a great majority of the physical symptoms I've been experiencing. Why is that embarrassing? I feel like it's something I should just be able to "deal with" and "get over." After all, I know the Lord is sovereign, good, wise, and my ultimate rest.... why is this affecting me so? The doctor has no immediate desire to put me on meds (which is a good thing in my opinion), she'd rather I work on the lifestyle/behavioral changes first and see what progress I can make. She told me I am going to have to slow down (both physically and activity-wise). Along with that, I'll add that I will most definitely be seeking the Lord's leading in this area. I believe that at least in part, anxiety is a sin of distrust in the Lord. Pray that I seek His leading in this area and that my sweet husband, amazing friends and family, and church body can be the encouragement and accountibility I need.
Thank you all so much for everything. I'll keep you all posted on any issues with the ENT. In the meantime, I'm back on Zyrtec-D to help with the dizzy issues.
I have no idea who the author is but a friend forwarded this to me by email and I thought it was encouraging... To all the mommies out there:
It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store..
Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?' Obviously, not.
No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all.
I'm invisible. The invisible Mom. Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?
Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'
I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated sum a cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going; she's going; she is gone!
One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England.
Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feelingpretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.'
It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe .. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: 'To My Dear Friend, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'
In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names.
These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.
A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam; He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it..' And the workman replied, 'Because God sees'
I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place.
It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.'
At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.
I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on.
The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.
When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'you're going to love it there.'
As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right; And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.
As many of you know, I've been suffering from several various ailments and health issues. While many of these things have worsened recently, many of them I've struggled with for years, just to a lesser extent. Last summer I had multiple tests to determine the cause of my ailments. The doctor was unable to come to a diagnosis. This morning I had another doctor's appointment (with a new doc). She was amazing and listened very well. She has ordered many more (and specific) tests than were done last summer. The good news is that my dizziness is likely caused only by fluid buildup in my ears. I'm being put on Zyrtec-D to deal with that. Based on my issues, she has reason to believe I'm struggling with either Lupus and/or Fibromyalgia. I should have some basic results within 10 days. Depending on the results, I may or may not have to have more testing to confirm the diagnosis. You may notice that I've linked resource webpages to both of the issues above. If you're interested in reading more about them, feel free to click on those links.
That being said, I'm not dying. :) Well, in a sense, we're all dying but you know what I mean. While both issues can potentially have a severity in manifestation, they do not imply that there will be. 85-90% of people living with Lupus, as long as they follow doctor's orders and treatment, can expect to live a normal lifespan. This is much different than in years past.
How am I taking all of this in? Well, honestly, I've been preparing myself for this potential diagnosis all week. Some moments have been stronger than others. Some days I've felt physically horrible, other days I've felt almost normal. The Lord is my Rock. Isaiah 41:10 says, "fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." I've been singing these verses for the last few days and they have truly been a comfort. I must admit, I am afraid of how this will effect my life. There is no cure for either of these issues. Treatment is simply done to control and deal with the symptoms. That frightens me. And yet I fully trust the Lord is good. If this is to be my thorn, so be it. Praise be to God for His ways and thoughts are higher than my own. Whatever brings Him greater glory is what I pray for in this life. And if that's Lupus or Fibromyalgia...so be it. Pray that I continue to hold that mindset during the harder times.
I want to say thank you to all of my friends and family. You all have been so thoughtful, supportive, and prayerful. Please continue to be a friend in those ways. I cannot tell you what it means to me to know how many people are praying for and loving on my family and I.
If you have any further thoughts/questions/comments, feel free to let me know. In the meantime, I'll be sure to update with test results as soon as I am made aware myself.