all together now, "whoaaa-oa-oaaaaa" :)
so yeah... no giveaway yesterday either. let me try to explain...
in an earlier post i informed you about my struggle to find out what's wrong with me. (alright, that's enough. i can hear you all snickering from here. lol) i found a rheumatologist i LOVE and got the blood test results back last week. basically, they were conclusive - i DO have scleroderma and i MUST stay on top of it. and so i am. my finger is still killing me and the digital ulcer is verrrrry slow in healing. oooh! should i post a picture of it? that might be fun. ha ha :) i had lunch with a couple sweet friends last week and one of the topics of conversation at lunch was "the finger" - here i was waggling my decrepit finger over their panera salad describing it in detail and i realized, "you know? this may not be the most appetizing discussion for lunch." :) so i stopped. lol
so about yesterday... since scleroderma is an autoimmune disease that can effect the vascular system (blood vessels, etc.) i needed to have some tests run on my heart and lungs because a concern can be pulmonary hypertension which effects both heart and lungs and once damage is done it is irreversible. so! i go to the hospital in michigan city, indiana to which i have never ventured before. i've been to michigan city but the only two landmarks i'd visited are the outlet mall and the beach :) i had gotten directions from one of the nurses and, shockingly enough, the were WRONG. so i try to find it via my handy-dandy vz navigator on my phone and would you believe, it was having a hard time finding my location?? (the irony is thick here my friends. lol) so it was no help. so i call my doctors office and the sweet receptionist very patiently guided me turn by turn to the hospital. i get there right at 10am (which was the time of my first test) and the darling man behind the front desk says to head down to cardiology. so i head down. the precious little old lady behind the desk there says "your appointment isn't until 11am." but i KNOW i have one at 10am too so i ask where the pulmonary department is and she sends me to the 2nd floor. unbeknownst to me, i climbed aboard the staff elevator to go up to the 2nd floor. i exit the elevator on the 2nd floor and find myself in a staff only, restricted area in the ICU. so awesome. :) so i head out into the hallway and find a cute little old lady who appears to be a volunteer (her name tag said "eucharistic minister" so that sounded fancy enough) and she suggested i head down to admitting. she led me to the correct elevator (sheesh.) and i headed back down to the 1st floor. i find out, yes, i needed to be in admitting first so i sit and wait. the highlight of the morning HAD to be the two adorable old ladies who were running a play-by-play of "the price is right" on the waiting room t.v. it made me smile. :) the lady who so obviously LOVES her job finally called me in and we discover someone hadn't faxed the necessary paperwork to them or the front desk which is why i was wandering around st. anthony's for a good 30 mins :) (me thinks it was the nurse who gave me the bad directions.) i'm FINALLY admitted and rushed up to the pulmonary test because i am now 30 mins late. (what's new right?) i got right in and performed a series of tests - lots of breathing into a little scuba mouthpiece type thingy and almost passed out twice :) they plug your nose and tell you to breathe "normally" into this thing and then she starts yelling "ok! breath quickly and deeply! in! out! in! out!" and i've got this thing in my mouth and a big nose plug on thinking i must look like a real buffoon right now. :) so great. so THEN she sends me down to cardiology (she actually walked me to the elevator personally - i'm thinking the word was out that there was a strange woman roaming the halls and to please help her. lol) i pop into cardiology for the 3rd time that morning and by now the sweet little lady behind the desk and i are on a first name basis. they take me right back and i have the echocardiogram done (which is basically an ultrasound of the heart - i turned at one point and said "is that the head?" - aren't i funny? lol) she said that if there was anything seriously wrong they would not let me leave so since i was not tackled and detained on my way out the door, i figured that was a good sign. :) i then stopped by my rheumatologists office and she checked out my hand, etc. i'm growing increasingly frustrated with it because it literally affects EVERYTHING i do. i remember when i had the other digital ulcer that got so bad i would think "well, at least it's on my left hand - it would really stink if it was my right." annnnnd it does. i'm super paranoid about infection and, due to my complete lack of gracefulness, i hit it on something at least 427 times a day. :/ as i type right now there is a consistent throbbing pain in my entire right hand from favoring my one finger and overcompensating with the others. growl. but i am THANKFUL that it is nothing more serious - my doctor said it IS looking better, just verrrry slow going. i have another consult with a hand surgeon tomorrow and we will discuss whether it would be best to have a procedure done on it or just to let it progress with healing on it's own. pray for wisdom for the doctors and myself - i'm ready to move on :)
SO! all that to say, yesterday was a wash as far as blogging goes. i fully intend to dive back into my story soon. :) i have been SO ENCOURAGED by so many of you to continue on and i just want to say, with tears in my eyes and love in my heart, thank you SO MUCH. i am in AWE of what GOD has done, and will continue to do, in and through all of us and am honored to be serving alongside all of you as we minister to our precious families and each other.
let's meditate on 1 peter 5:6-10 today, sweet friends...
"humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty right hand, that He may lift you up in due time. cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. be self-controlled and alert. your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know your sisters around the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. and the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast." (i added sisters instead of brothers - i don't think God will mind. at least i hope not!)
you are NOT alone! the God of ALL GRACE will HIMSELF restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. SO AWESOME. a precious, precious promise. :) CLAIM IT TODAY, girls! pray that hedge over your husband, your children, your homes, your pastors, your friends today. the devil wants nothing more than to destroy and devour Godly, Christ-following families and render them useless. do NOT allow him that pleasure. pray with your eyes open today - offer Him thanks continually for EVERYTHING in your life. even on the crummy days, the spilled breakfast, the fighting children, the nasty digital ulcers. :) i am praying for you all and want you to KNOW you are LOVED and HONORED today.