Thursday I spoke with my ND (Naturopath) about my thyroid results and it wasn’t as expected, nor as wanted. “Your thyroid seems to be functioning pretty well…” You’d think I’d jump for joy, hurray, my thyroid is healthy! I didn’t celebrate. I quietly listened as he explained all my numbers, how a couple of markers were on the low side, but nothing significant and how he suspects my pain could be from body-wide inflammation caused by an infection, my Lyme infection most likely.
My heart sunk. “Lyme-related”. Why was I disappointed that it wasn’t a thyroid issue vs. Lyme related you might be asking yourself? First, let me preface this, I’m not at all downplaying the severity of thyroid issues and diseases, not in the least. Any disease process in the body is a terrible thing to have. If I could wake up tomorrow completely healed, I would choose that in a hot minute. However, if I could blame most, if not all of my current health problems on a thyroid issue, and attack the issue head on, I could have more hope for repairing and supporting my thyroid.
You see, anyone with Lyme disease can tell you, it’s a very mysterious, difficult, under-researched, expensive, time-consuming, horribly painful, debilitating, and misunderstood disease. And I’ve been battling this stupid thing for 12 long years. My youngest son, for his whole life, as he was born with it. I’m exhausted. I’m tired of it being a mystery. I’m tired of not healing fully. I’m tired of the battle. I want something that can be either fixed or supported in a way that much, if not all, of my symptoms melt away.
So, when my doctor said it wasn’t my thyroid most likely causing my joint pain, stiffness, wife-spread body pain, fatigue, migraines, hair loss etc I was extremely disappointed and, frankly, back into a pit of hopelessness. Not depressed hopelessness but in a place of, well, I guess I’m just going to have to learn to live this way for the rest of my life. And trust me, no one should ever have to live with Lyme disease their whole lives. No one.
We ended the call with a protocol. One that, of course, is pricey and, double of course, isn’t covered by insurance, but one that may help my body, and may bring down pain levels, or, who knows, maybe eradicate them fully, though, I’m not getting my hopes up for that. He is going to lightly support the thyroid for the time being and add a supplement to help with the body-wide inflammation in my system. Infectious disease process for a long period of time can throw your body into inflammation and inflammation can cause all sorts of problems with ones body and brain.
I’m hopeful but also being realistic. I probably will still have some levels of pain, fatigue, migraines, etc. I will still probably hold onto weight more than the average Joe. If I can rid myself of even 50% of the pain intensity and frequency I’ll be happy. If I can go to sleep without pain so big that I toss and turn for hours before drifting to sleep, or if I can wake up and not be so stiff and sore that I don’t have to shuffle and hobble down the hallway, I will be happy.
What I want to leave you with mostly, besides this discouraging (to me) update, which, I’m sorry that it’s coming across this way, as I’m normally a pretty positive person, is this: hope in Christ is everything. Let me explain what I mean by that and why I say it.
When I first got sick, 12 years ago, while pregnant with my youngest son, I had no idea what was wrong with me. I lived two long years not knowing what was wrong. After seeing several specialists, having countless blood draws, an MRI, CT Scan, being told I was just a tired mom of three boys, or maybe I was just depressed… when I finally received my diagnosis of Lyme disease, I finally had hope.
And then, when I started traditional Lyme treatment and all hell broke loose in my body, and I began to slowly realize how hard this disease was going to be to recover from, I lose hope. It got dark. Life was hard. I was very depressed and had lost hope and perspective. But, I pushed through. I leaned into my relationship with Christ and started listening to that still small voice inside telling me to try alternative methods of healing.
I switched from traditional to a homeopath, who basically scammed us out of 2 thousand dollars but I didn’t let that steer me away from alternative healing. I found a wonderful ND, who I still have as my main doctor, and I found hope. Fresh, happy, hope. And it felt great. I started taking herbs and he began treating my hurting adrenal glands and I began seeing real healing and real progress.
Then I hit a wall in my treatment. I stopped progressing. I increased my herbs and while I continued to herx, and continued killing off the nasty bugs in my body, my symptoms wouldn’t budge. I began losing hope for healing again. But this time, I managed to hold onto perspective. I don’t have it as bad as some people. I’m alive. I’m enjoying my kids and husband. I have a job from home and love working. I get to still partake in hobbies. And I know where I’m going when my time on earth is up. I had perspective but I lost hope for healing. I accepted that this was going to be my life. Living in a body old beyond its years.
I realized this week, after my disappointing call with my doctor, that my hope had been placed in the wrong places. My hope was in diagnosis’s and doctors and my body healing itself. My hope was in my own strength and ability. My hope was in my forever future in heaven (not that there’s anything wrong with that) and, yet, my hope for the NOW wasn’t in the right place. It wasn’t in Christ alone.
Jesus knows my body. He knows what is wrong when the doctors struggle with answers. He knows what disease processes are in me, He knows what will heal them, He has all the answers. He also loves me immensely, even when I turn my back on Him. He weeps when I weep, He honors my struggle and my strength. When the world around me doesn’t understand my pain, He knows firsthand. My hope alone must remain in Jesus.
I’m not saying my hope for healing is through supernatural means only, through a special touch from my Lord. No. I believe that if I’m healed on earth, it can absolutely come from the Lord guiding me to the right people, the right doctors, at the right times. Or it can happen when I wake up one morning and was touched by God’s healing hands. Or, it could never happen until I make it to those pearly gates. The hope I speak of goes far beyond healing though. My hope for everything is in Christ alone. My hope for my children, my hope for my marriage, my hope for my mental, emotional, and physical health, my hope for my future – it all rests with Christ.
While I hold my head, ice pack over my eyes, and cry due to the pain of a migraine, my hope is in Jesus. When I break down after a long 24 hours of fighting joint and muscle pain, that no human should ever experience, and pop Advil to help ease it – my hope is in Jesus. When I push, literally push and drag myself through the neighborhood with my boys, enjoying time together outdoors, and push past my overwhelming fatigue – my hope is in Jesus. My hope for everything is in Him. And that is where it must remain. Because hope in anything else will let you down, it will be temporary, it will likely lead to a crash and burn, to hopelessness and depression.
So I encourage you, friend. If you’re battling anything hard in life, or whether you have a great, happy, wonderful life – keep your eyes on Jesus, keep your hope in Him, and you’ll be able to face anything that comes your way.
I’ll leave you with my favorite verse in the Bible right now. Romans 15:13 – you may have heard of it, or maybe you’ve not. Let this bless you today, wherever you are, whatever you’re facing.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”