Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Day with Lymes Disease

  It's days like today I find myself searching for answers...asking so many questions...fighting discouragement and depression.  4th day in bed...brings back memories of when I first got sick and had to spend months in bed.  Yesterday I was too weak to walk or even sit up, my amusement was listening to the kids decorate Christmas cookies.  Their sweet voices and funny sayings make me laugh...and then, it hits me...7 years...7 years I have missed out on so many little things like decorating Christmas cookies because I'm sick.  That's when the anger and frustration hit..."God, why?  How is this fair?  Why have I had to miss out on so much life?".  When LIFE is so very much alive inside me...and yet a weak body debilitates me I feel nothing less than trapped inside.  Inside I would love to be this super healthy 25 year old who is running marathons, and going on mission trips, pursuing my dream in photography....and yet, the constant pain, burning, weakness, fatigue etc that riddles my joints, arms, legs, hands, brain and especially spine make me feel like I'm a feeble 95 year old.  This is more than a battle with Lymes Disease...it's a mind battle.  Is this going to make me bitter, or better?  Am I going to Praise the Lord for the life that I do have?  Or am I going to complain about what I don't have?  Am I going to see every second as a time that I can be advancing the Kingdom of God thru prayer and CHOOSING to be joyful, or am I going to waste my time by focusing on things I want to do, but can't.  I want to use this post to write down a PRAISE List....to get my focus OFF how I feel....off what I want...and focus on all the amazing blessings God HAS given me!

1.)  I have a diagnosis!  (A year ago I didn't have a diagnosis...knowing what's wrong with you is half the battle...now at least I have clear direction as far as treatment!  They say the treatment and die off from killing Lymes is often worse than the disease itself. I would say I have to agree.  But how are you going to get better without that stage?  Many times in life things get worse before they get better.

2.) Last Jan/Feb was the last time I've had to spend 2 weeks in bed!  Since that time I have been strong enough to live a "kinda normal" life...even though I never feel very good.  That in and of itself is HUGE!!! :)

3.)  I have an amazing support group of family and friends who love me, pray for me, bless me with money donations to help pay for my costly treatments, drive me to Drs appointments, and are always there for me.  TRUE friends are one of the most beautiful treasures in the world, and in this area of friends...I am one rich girl. <3

4.) In Jesus, I am already healed!!!  I have the promise of God's Word that He has already healed me! <3  What a wonderful promise....even if I don't "FEEL" it yet...and even if I can't "SEE" it...lymes disease has no power over my body.

5.)  I have a warm bed to sleep in and good food to eat.  I've been reading thru a book called "No Longer a Slumdog" by K.P. Yohannan.  It's about the suffering children of Asia who often start at the age of 4 begging for food or are sold into slavery by their parents.  Who am I to think I have suffered anything when I read thru these precious children's stories?

6.) Lymes Disease may have taken away the fight in my body...but it hasn't taken away the fight in my spirit! :)  That is something that I have a full complete choice over.  My spirit, when grounded in the Word of God can still soar on wings like eagles even when my body can't.

7.)  I am blessed to have a job!!  Not many Lymes Disease Patients are able to continue working.  By the grace of God I have been able to maintain working as a receptionist at a Physical Therapy Office.  I absolutely LOVE it there and feel horrible on days like today when I am too sick from Lymes to go in. :-/  With all the time I have had to take off for Drs appointments and from being sick I am truly grateful for their understanding and working with me.  Even though I usually totally crash when I get home from work cuz I'm so exhausted, I am incredibly thankful for a job...especially in this economy.

8.) I can still SMILE! :)  "I like smiling, smilings my favorite."  Never let anything or anyone rob you of the smile God gave you!  There's always something beautiful in every moment of our life...a rainbow behind every storm cloud and a rose at the end of a stalk of thorns.  Even when life is hard...a Bible verse, a promise from God, a note from a friend, the sun on my face, the smell of my favorite perfume, the color *PINK*, watching little kids...etc...etc....there's always, always, ALWAYS something that can make me smile.

9.) My Story isn't over yet!!  No...this is just the beginning.  Yes, my life is a battle right now and quite the fight...but oh, how grateful I am that this is just the beginning of my life with Jesus.  It can only get better from here. :)  As Christians, this life is the worst it's ever gonna get...  I'm thankful that God has promised GOOD to me...I'm thankful that HE DOES work everything out for good.  I'm thankful that somehow....all of this...no matter how dark or hard it seems...is creating me into the Girl that HE wants ME to be. <3  Somehow...this is fitting into my story that He has already written.  Somehow He's going to make something beautiful out of this.

10.)  I'm thankful I can connect with other "Lymies".  :)  Lymes is SUCH a hard disease to explain...and even an harder disease to understand if you've never had it.  Is so vicious, attacking your nerves, brain, heart, gastrointestinal system, and basically every organ in your body.  It's the "silent disease"...hard to see and detect, but very debilitating to the one who has it.  As with anything in life, meeting someone who completely 100% understands what you are going thru is HUGE.  I'm so thankful for the people God has put into my life who have Lymes (not thankful they have it, but thankful to know them) who encourage me and understand what I am going thru and that I in turn can encourage them as well.


And...my mind is pretty brain dead right now and sitting up is incredibly exhausting...so I am going back to bed...but writing this out has been helpful. <3  Not really expecting anyone to read this...written more for myself, to focus on the things GOD wants me focusing on right now. <3 <3  And someday, when I'm all better...I can re-read this post and *remember* all that God has healed me from and how far He's brought me. 



Thank you, Jesus, for LIFE!  Thank You, Lord, that pain and sickness will not last forever. <3  Keep my focus on YOU and on all the amazing blessings you have given me.  Bless me with a victorious spirit to keep fighting...spiritually, physically and mentally.  Keep my focus on HOPE and HEALING!! <3  Please make me a blessing to others, and not a burden.

I love you, Jesus!

Love,
Monica


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, die like you'll live forever.  Love like you'll leave tomorrow, knowing that love lasts forever."~Rich Mullins
 


12 comments:

  1. I love it, Monica! You explained a day in the life of a Lymie so well. God is so good to us, isn't He?! Even on our sickest days, He gives us good things to enjoy.
    I love you, girl. Hang in there. We are getting better!!! How cool is that?! We've been praying for this for years now, and it's becoming a reality. How awesome is that??? He is good.

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    1. Awww.....Jess!! I love you so much! <3 Amazing how far God has brought both of us. Remembering back to years ago when The Drs. couldn't figure out what was wrong with us. :) God still gave us so much HOPE, so much to smile about and be thankful for...even though we were so sick. <3
      YES!! We ARE getting better!! One step at a time...little by little. <3

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  2. Hey Monica, I just wanted to say that you are encouragement to so many though you may not feel like it. I know we don't know each other well, but I always remember your smile and sweet spirit from when you would come to help at ITC. :) I also want to say that I understand the fight is hard when you don't feel good. Though I'm not sick in that way myself...I know from watching others. What struck me in your post was how you said that you feel like you have lost 7 years of your life. That's how my sister who had epilepsy felt. She lost 10 years. And really more because it has taken her 2 years to learn how to function again since her surgery that took away her seizures. She had to learn that it's ok to mourn the loss of those years, and then to learn how to move forward. It's hard! She struggled with depression during those years also, and even now is just now finding the victory over it. I also have seen pain in a close up way, as my mom has candida very severely. Many of her symptoms are actually very similar to lymes. There were many days that she can barely get out of bed. I also have two friends with lymes. One who right now is extremely sick, has 2 little boys, and her surprise baby is due in January. She has not be able to have treatments because of the pregnancy. I know she feels like she is dying, but is trying to keep perspective with her two toddlers at her side.
    Sorry for such a long post, but I guess I just wanted you to know that I understand in a small, indirect way what you are going through, and so the way you are choosing to look for the blessings is awesome and encouraging. I've been dealing with exhaustion to the point of being physically sick recently, and so I cannot even imagine what you go through on a daily basis! Keep on, keeping on...God's not done with you yet. :) Praying for you girl!

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    1. Dear Sarah,

      Thank you so much for your post! It truly blessed me. <3 I remember your sweet, kind heart from ITC as well. Wish I had gotten more time to get to know you.

      I'm so sorry for your sister...wow, that is so hard! And for your Mom...candida is an extremely difficult condition to get rid of. May God heap healing blessings on both of them and your precious friends with Lymes.

      Thank you, Sarah for understanding...for standing by the weak and sick and for your prayers! Your sister, Mom and friends need you. I know for a fact that I couldn't have gotten through the past 7 years without several friends who, even though they weren't sick, they took the time to understand, to pray, to encourage, to cry with me, to do things with me that made me smile and God used them in such a HUGE way! I know God is using YOU in a huge way to encourage those around you! And it's hard...for you, too...to watch people you love suffer. Sometimes I wonder if it's harder on the ones watching? I guess it's hard in both ways.

      Well hey, you better take care of yourself now! Don't over-do it and make sure to rest up! <3 Praying against exhaustion in your life.

      Thanks again for your encouraging post and prayers.

      Monica

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  3. I will continue to pray for you, my dear Monica! I sure don't know what people do who don't have our Savior, as I know I would not be able to make it without the hope found in Him. Thank you for the reminder to count our blessings and to be thankful for what we DO have! I needed to hear that!

    My heart is breaking for you, and for all of those having to go through this suffering. I've been in tears a lot lately...but He reminded me the other night that once I get one glimpse of His face, none of this will matter anymore! I've been thinking about the verse that talks about how He will restore the years that the locust has eaten!

    I love you girl...hang in there!

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    1. Hi Abby! I have been thinking about you, friend. How are you doing? How is your health doing? I sure don't know what people do without our Savior either dear girl. <3 He truly does walk thru every shadow with us. <3 I'm so sorry that you have been in so many tears lately. <3 I love you and I am sending prayers your way! <3 It's gonna get better, Abby...Jesus promised it would! :)

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  4. Hey Monica, I know you don't know me, but a friend of mine posted a link to this post of yours, and it is really encouraging! Thanks for your example of thinking of all the things to be grateful for even in VERY hard situations! I will pray for you!

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    1. Hi Victoria! Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. Your comment is encouraging and I so appreciate your prayers. Blessings!

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  5. Hi Monica...
    I don't think you know me either =) But I am a friend of friends...Tiffany Martens and others. Just wanted to let you know I'm praying for you and God brings you to my mind often. Thanks for sharing here. Even though many of us are not sick, we still have struggles where we find it hard to count our blessings. It's so refreshing to read this from another believer in the same boat and remember we are truly citizens of heaven! We only live on this earth for a short season. Keep pressing on! Psalm 121.

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    1. Hi Hannah Grace! Thanks so much for stopping by, reading my post and for your encouraging words. Amen! Totally LOVE that this is not our home...we are "truly citizens of heaven!" Right on, girl. Just read thru Psalms 121...beautiful. Thank you so much for praying for me! That means a lot. Blessings on you! ~Monica

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  6. Awww Monica, look at these comments and tell me that you don't have a ministry! Jesus is getting soooooo glorified by you, beautiful, right now!!!! The crowd watching you right now is seeing a huge battle for that smile, but they also see the reason why you are smiling, cus you love Jesus! He is your smile! Thank you for letting us see a peak in this lovely story God has written for you, where the Prince gets the princess heart and everyone is touched by the story! I love you sweet girl!

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    1. Oh Dear Kimberly. <3 Your comment touched my heart so deeply. Thank you for your kind words! It's amazing how God can still use each one of us even when we feel so empty...I guess that's where He wants us...empty of ourselves so any good thing is from Him! Praise the Lord for HIS faithfulness in my life and yours...and how He is writing a beautiful story in both of our lives. :) Thanks for your encouraging words! Love you so much!!!

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Well "hey" there!!

Always good to hear from you. :)

God bless you with a *beautiful* day.

~Monica