bloggingchronic illness

Making Some Changes & Life Updates With Chronic Illness

If you haven’t noticed, A New Kind of Normal is currently undergoing a minor facelift! I’m working on tweaking the design and layout so thank you in advance for your patience!

While chatting about the changes, I thought I would give you a few life updates with chronic illness. I didn’t plan to disappear after this year’s Blogging for Endometriosis campaign ended but life got a little crazy (even more than usual)! My health really tanked and we’ve had a couple of scares.

While we were on vacation, we went go-cart racing and on one of the family tracks, Abby and I got nailed hard. Thankfully it was on my side of the car so I took the brunt of the hit. It was not a normal bump and crash. We were hit so hard the suspension of the car broke and we were complete sitting ducks. In all, the attendant counted that we were hit by at least five different cars (it was the first one that did the most damage). Needless to say, my body wasn’t happy so I got checked out just to be sure but thankfully Abby wasn’t hurt at all, just shaken up. If the jerk had hit her side of the car, I might have ended up in jail.

On top of that,¬†a few weeks ago I discovered a lump in my right breast. With my family history and my own history of having an abnormal mammogram and having a total hysterectomy at 26, we didn’t want to take any chances so my doctor rushed a mammogram and ultrasound. Thankfully, we got some good news and it was only a cyst so the girls are A-OK! Praise the Lord!

Then, in addition, I have been having even more trouble with nausea, stomach pain, and not being able to keep food down. Gastroparesis has been an issue for some time now but after needing to remove several adenomas during last year’s EGD, my GI wanted to go back in to see what was going on so I had an EGD last Friday. The only thing about EGDs that make me nervous is getting the IV. There is no prep other than not eating or drinking after midnight so the process isn’t quite as anxiety-inducing as a colonoscopy but with my terrible veins, I hold my breath until that IV is in place and then I’m golden. I always warn the nurses and usually they laugh and say they hear it all the time but never have a problem until they go to stick me. Then they believe me. My nurse this time around was amazing. She had to search and search (and search!) for a vein but once she found the pitiful thing, she hit it first try. It wasn’t ideal and it hurt like nobody’s business but it got the job done. Thank God for vein numbing medications! The whole team was amazing, took great care of me, and the procedure went smoothly. They had to remove two more polyps (we won’t know if they are adenomas until the pathology comes back) and they did the routine biopsy to monitor my Celiac disease but the doctor did note that there was some liquid still retained in my stomach during the procedure so I am not sure what that means. I should be receiving my follow up information and biopsy results any time now so I will keep you updated!

Hopefully between the tests and visits with my doctors, we will be able to get a better handle on my health and things will fall back into place. I am ready to get back into a routine, not only with blogging but with life in general. I cannot believe that Abby’s last day of school is next week and I will no longer have a kindergartener! The year has flown by so fast but we are ready for some summer fun!

Thank you guys so much for sticking around and for all of your support! You have no idea how much it means and how it keeps me going!

chronic illnessfaith

Reclaiming Grace

2014 has been off to a rough start. It seems like it has been one thing after another and the resulting anxiety has been overwhelming. I have struggled with feeling empty physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually and with that comes guilt and shame.

I am a youth pastor’s wife who feels like a wall has been built between myself and God.

I have not lost my faith. I know wholeheartedly that God is in control and I cling to His promises fully. The proof of His love and provision is all around me.

During the trials that have surrounded me, I know that He is with me and He has never moved. I have. My tank has run empty and I have not let His grace fill me up.

If you deal with chronic illness, you know how exhausting it is on every level and in every part of your life. Actually I’m not sure the word exhaustion can even begins to describe it. It is a fatigue that seeps into your bones and into every corner of your spirit.

In efforts of self-preservation, I shut down. I yearn so badly to be filled but I feel so full of guilt and shame that I push it away. I should be stronger than this. I am not only married to a pastor but I have my own call to ministry and here I am swallowed up in a sea of desperation and feel like I’m treading water just to maintain.

I am exhausted.

And then today happened.

I received the results from my biopsy results from last week’s EGD. All of the biopsy results came back normal but one. My celiac disease is being controlled by my gluten-free diet and I have healed wonderfully since my diagnosis almost four years ago. It is what they found in my stomach that made me hold my breath.

When the nurse went over my doctors notes after my EGD last week, she mentioned that they had found and removed a gastric polyp but not to worry because they are common and turn out to be not that big of a deal.

But this one wasn’t.

The polyp that they removed is called an adenoma. Adenomas are the least common type of stomach polyp, but the most likely type to become stomach cancer (source).

I almost dropped the phone. The nurse assured me that they removed everything they needed to during the procedure, nothing was left behind, and I am 100% ok. I would just need to be closely monitored with EGDs to make sure that nothing comes back. I could breathe again.

As I sat on the bed trying to process everything, I went back to the day I sat in the doctors office last month scheduling the procedures. She had only planned on doing the colonoscopy but something inside me told me to push to have an EGD done at the same time. Since I do not test positive in blood work for Celiac, an EGD is the only way to monitor the disease so she agreed. If I was under and cleaned out, they might as well check both ends.

But what if I hadn’t asked for the EGD? What if this polyp not caught and removed early like it was? When would we have found it?

Those were scary questions to ask and I found myself face down on the floor.

At that moment there could have been no greater reminder of the sovereignty of God. He was the one that pushed me to ask for that EGD. He was the one that helped my doctor find the polyp early enough to be found and completely removed. He was the one waiting to rescue me.

In that moment I felt His grace and mercy poured down on me like rain. All this time He had been whispering, “I am here” and I finally pushed myself out of the way so I could hear it. I could feel the walls crumbing.

Today is the first step in healing. Today is the day I give my heart back. Today is the day I reclaim my place. At the foot of the cross.

In Need of Grace

Photo Credit: Jasmic via Compfight cc