An Update of Sorts

Most of you know I have Lyme disease. It’s been an 11-year journey, some days, into the pits of hell. But what many of you don’t yet know is the GI issues I’ve been dealing with for a few years now on top of it. Some pretty significant symptoms, like almost daily nausea, bloating, some pain here and there, and even throwing up.

It seems to be diet related so my doctor is doing blood work to see what foods I’m sensitive to. I also suspect a possible ulcer, which I’ll see a local doctor for if my symptoms don’t go away with, what I assume to be, a drastic change in my diet once these blood test results come back. I’m highly suspicious of gluten and possibly dairy.

In addition to the GI upset, my fatigue has gotten worse, migraines have gotten worse, even pain and weak muscles. My body is a bit of a mystery, one that takes time to untangle.

I’m looking forward to the food sensitivity test as that will give me definitive answers as to what I shouldn’t be eating. Sure, I could just cut gluten and dairy out of my diet and see what happens, but I tend to prefer more concrete answers than let’s just guess and see what happens.

I’m already checking out gluten and dairy free cookbooks and blogs. I’m also looking into an instapot. Confession time. I hate cooking. I’ve never liked it. I do it, of course. But, it isn’t my cup of tea. All the work, the planning, the prepping, and it’s done in 15 minutes. You’re left with a huge mess. We eat more like typical Americans, with simple and quick dishes that don’t require a lot of forethought and prep-work. I know that is going to have to change, most likely.

Even if, by some miracle, I have no food allergies – if this is an ulcer, there is an ulcer diet that you should follow to keep flare ups down, too. I just think there’s no getting around it. My diet is going to have to change. I will ease my family into some of the changes and of course not everything they’ll have to change.

I’m looking forward to the changes though, even with my aversion to spending a lot of time in the kitchen or just learning a whole new way of eating. After 11 years of a disease I have NO control over, no power over, it’s empowering to think I might have some control over my GI issues by way of diet. I’ll be updating my blog with the results and hope to share my journey to eating healthier, and likely, stricter food.

Here Comes 40

My 40th birthday is one month away.

40 years on this earth. 40 hard years, blessed years, painful years, enjoyable years. 40 hard-fought years. In some ways, I feel like I’ve already lived a lifetime. In others, like I’m only 16 yrs old. Like, how am I almost 40?

My skin is showing her age. My hair, too. My body isn’t as perky and young. But I embrace it all. All the perceived not-so-good mixed with the very good.

Life’s journey has taught me much. It’s not what happens to you, it’s how you walk through the journey that matters. Are you humble when the good is filling your cup to the brim? Are you determined not to give up when it’s so bad you can barely stomach it?

Do you lose faith when it’s bad? Or do you hold onto to maker of the stars, always, even when nothing is making sense?

I hope to continue growing in wisdom, kindness, and patience as I age. I hope I keep growing in faith and joy. That I never turn my back on the goodness of God and keep His promises in my heart.

This is what almost 40 looks like. Happy.

Embracing Your Journey

I don’t question why I’m sick anymore. Ten years into my journey and I now think, what can I learn through this journey?

So often people question God, they wonder why He allowed something in their lives. I choose not to ponder that, pondering why something happened to me, rather – I choose to embrace the lessons through a journey and focus on what I do know – God is love.

Please don’t get me wrong, I don’t warmly embrace Lyme disease as a blessing because being chronically ill in itself is not a blessing, but God DOES bless me through the pain, He does walk with me, He does give me the opportunity to learn, to grow, should I choose to.

I find it not useful at all to wonder why something happened to me.

If you can look at your circumstances from the eyes of God is good no matter what, God is faithful no matter what, God loves you no matter what, God wants you well no matter what – you will embrace joy through pain, you will find beauty in your ashes, you will surprise yourself with your own strength and your determination to embrace whatever journey you find yourself on.

Will you have down days? Yes. Do I? Yes. Oh, absolutely yes. Overall, though, throughout the ten years, I’ve battled the disease, I’ve found more valuable lessons than painful questions. I’ve discovered more love than disappointment. I see more goodness in humanity than not. I’ve seen how strong I am rather than focusing on my weaknesses and limitations.

But, most importantly, I’ve seen how God has been there every step of the way. I’ve never been alone on this long, often, painful journey. And I never will be. And friend, neither have or will you.