It wasn’t Jerry Springer worthy.It wasn’t even Dr. Phil worthy.If I was going to describe it: we were surviving, not thriving.
We were experiencing utter exhaustion mid-day.
By early evening, we were collapsing on the couch.
This is what it sounded like…
Billy: “Honey, I don’t know why I was so tired today. I had to grab some caffeine.”
Heather: “Thank God, I had my coffee this morning to get through my early IEP meeting.”
Billy: “I’m so frustrated that I don’t have the time or energy to exercise. I Used to be an athlete!”
Heather: “I sure miss being active as a family-bike rides, playing at the park, socializing more.”
Even though we expressed our feelings to each other about our disappointments, we just didn’t do anything about them. We felt stuck. Isn’t this what all parents experience? We settled because we thought we HAD to settle. We were held captive by our mindset: that things would always be the same, so why try to change? We had lost sight of our priorities regarding our physical, mental, and spiritual health. Our connection with others. The importance of pursuing passions and our dreams. We were losing fulfillment. Where was that “abundant life”?
Fast forward to October 2016. We had just returned from Disneyland, and while in the shower, I noticed swelling in my right armpit. I had been fighting “something,” and had been feeling a bit run down. I chalked it up to just being busy. After a couple of weeks of not feeling well, I made an appointment with my doctor.
“You’re lymph nodes are enlarged, so I’ll need to monitor you. It’s probably due to a virus. Come back in 6 weeks to ensure the swelling has gone down. If it hasn’t, I’ll have to run some blood work,”he told me.
With that in mind, I called one of our local health food stores, and asked for some recommendations on vitamins to boost my immune system. Vitamin C, garlic, Vitamin A, and Zinc. I followed the dosing religiously. I tried to rest more. I washed my hands more than usual-the germa-phobe that I am.
Just when I thought I was getting better, I was picking up a new virus circulating around school. I was missing more work than usual. As if viruses weren’t bad enough, I developed Thrush and then later a Urinary Tract infection. This never happened to me before. I saw my doctor several more times. He would shrug it off, give me meds to address the symptoms, and tell me that he was going to check my lymph nodes in another 6 weeks because I had been so sick since my first appointment.
I had hoped that by Christmas break, I would be better. A break from work would surely give me an opportunity to rest and to recover. I rested but the recovery wasn’t happening. After Christmas, I was having difficulty getting up in the mornings. I was sleeping in later than usual, and dragging myself out of bed. My legs felt heavier than they ever had before. I was feeling fullness in my neck, and fatigue through the entire day. In order to get through my day, I would have to nap.
I was scared. I knew this wasn’t normal for me. I had been to my doctor’s office so many times. Each time that he saw me, he’d say something like, “It’s been a really bad cold and flu season.”
Finally, after picking up yet another couple of viruses in January, I made another appointment to see my doctor. He agreed to run a CBC (comprehensive bloodwork) and to screen me for Lymphoma.
By this point, I had confided in family and close friends about my health issues to ask for prayer. I was so afraid that a serious underlying condition was the culprit.
My seventh doctor’s appointment in three months revealed that all results were within “normal” range, and that I didn’t have Lymphoma. This was a HUGE answer to prayer. I remember hugging my doctor and being so relieved.
On the drive home, my elation turned to contemplation: WHY AM I STILL GETTING SO SICK? I had mentioned to my doctor the possibility of an autoimmune disorder, and he poo pooed doing any more tests on me.
Over the following weeks, I continued to struggle with fatigue. I “medicated” the best way I knew how to: popping vitamins, Emergen C, morning coffee, afternoon teas, and diet Coke. I began to worry that the doctor was missing something.
I began praying even harder: “God, I don’t know why I am so tired, but You do. Please help me feel better. Please bring me a solution. I am putting my complete faith in YOU.”
I had no idea what kind of solution He would bring to me. Isn’t that just like Him? His ways are not our ways…