Friday, March 15, 2013

A New Normal

Writing is one of those things I crave, need, and desire in so many different life situations. When I am full of joy, I can't wait to write about my happiness and share it. I like to share it with friends, family, on facebook, and on my blog. I like to journal and praise God for his faithfulness and provision.

Sometimes, when I am in the midst of one of life's storms, I want to vent, to cry, to complain and just be heard. And then there's there's those moments, those days, those seasons, where to write about a trial would mean I would have to process that, I would have to dig deep, own up to my own sin and wrong thinking, and it would hurt.

About 5 months ago, I complained at youth group to my students that both of my elbows were hurting. They all laughed, thinking "That is a funny place to hurt." The following Friday, I noticed my hands seemed really swollen and were sore. I chalked it up to the bee sting I recieved Thursday evening (on my behind, may I add) and took some benadryl. By Monday, something clicked and I realized that it wasn't just my elbows and hands that were hurting, but my knees, elbows, ankles, etc. I was in severe joint pain that made walking, bending, typing, and every day activities difficult within a week.

After numerous doctor appointments, six medications, countless tests and a short medical leave of abscense from work and 5 long months, I am finally feeling okay enough to write about the season I have been in and am still in.  I was officially diagnosed with Rhumeatoid Arthritis in December, a autoimmune disease that attacks a persons joints, causing inflamation, swelling, and severe pain. It is a lifelong disease that is manageable with medication, but sometimes finding the right combination of medication is challenging.

The kind of pain I felt wasn't just soreness, but debilitating pain. There were mornings I woke up in tears because my hands hurt so bad, I couldn't wash my hair. There have been days that getting myself dressed has caused me to throw a temper tantrum because I couldn't grip my skinny jeans well enough to pull them up and lifting my arms above my head to take off a shirt was incredibly difficult.
Being sick so suddenly for a otherwise young, active, healthy woman has been one of the most difficult things I've gone through. One of the hardest things for me I think is giving up what I love to do, running.  I haven't really ran since October, there have been brief periods of time where I have been on enough prednisone to mask the pain, but October 26th was the last day I went on a normal run. I know, I would say that my life has been fairly easy if this is the worst thing I've been through, and God has blessed me beyond belief and I still believe, is blessing me through this storm.

I've had the pleasure of seeing family, friends, my boyfriend, and people from church come around me with prayer, meals, messages, and assistance doing things that didn't used to be so hard. I've seen Christ in those around me like never before. I've always known God answered my prayers by bringing a selfless man who loves Jesus into my life, but I've seen more patience, sacrifice, love, and understanding in the past month than I've seen in any man in my life. I've experienced God's hand at work in restoring friendships, in trusting in Him when it is just plain hard, and coming before him clinging to the cross when it literally feels like it is all I have left.

I've recently been to my rheumatologist, and he promised me that his goal, with this new medication I am on, was to get me running again. I have faith that by summer, I will be feeling great and running again. I am attempting to find joy in other things than just my daily circumstances. Things that an illness can't take away from me.

1 comment:

  1. ay ay ay ! so sorry to hear this! i used to work with a girl with RA and i've seen how hard it can be! i feel like the good thing is that medicine truly develops so fast that maybe someday soon they'll have a way to cure it or else make it totally manageable with meds. thanks for sharing and i'll be hoping to see some posts about running come summer! :)