hey girls, this has been a crazy busy week. i have had every intention of sitting down to write and something always comes up! :/ i've been dealing with some health issues lately that have required me to get serious and focus on myself which is hard for me, and most moms, i think. first of all, i tend to procrastinate. a LOT. :) when it comes to medical issues with my girls i'm all over it. but why when it comes to me do i put things off and wait and wait? wouldn't it make more sense to first take care of me? kind of like on an airplane that's going down (personally, never had the experience but i have seen every episode of LOST. lol) the flight attendants tell the adults to place the oxygen masks on themselves first and THEN help the children. it seems so selfish but it's just something you gotta do. kind of like taking care of ourselves for the benefit of our sweet families. still learning this lesson. i am a stubborn little sheep. :)
technically, this should probably be "my story, part 47" but since it's something i am dealing with right now, i wanted to share it with you. shortly after having my 2nd child, who will be 8 next month, i started feeling weird. emotionally, i was fine (that's like "part 42" - you'll have to wait for it. lol) but physically something was off. through a series of events (which i will expound upon in a later post) and several bloodtests, my doctor called me on a saturday (that's when you know there's something going on...) to let me know that the results of the tests showed that i had either lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. well, that stinks. :( and so began a marathon of doctor's appointments, medications, lots of questions, very few answers. i can honestly say, never once was i nervous, anxious, afraid of the diagnosis. to be honest with you, i wasn't totally convinced that i was ever THAT sick. but my bloodwork begged to differ. :/
let's fast forward a few years because, as always, i am getting bogged down in the details and i really intended this to be a brief update. HA! i am anything but brief, my friends :) the summer of 2008 i was seen by a group of about 5 rheumatologists in portland, maine who concluded that i was dealing with an autoimmune disease called scleroderma or CREST syndrome. i was suffering from poor circulation in my hands and feet (reynaud's phenomenon) and as a result had formed a digital ulcer on one of my finger tips due to the lack of bloodflow. after weeks of not healing properly, i contracted a staph infection and was hospitalized for about 4 days on i.v. antibiotics to get rid of the infection. so not fun. i say all that to say that i need to be more mindful of my health situation, and i have not been. in the 2 years since moving up here, i have not sought out a rheumatologist - i have been blessed to have felt pretty good in the meantime and any time something has come up our general practitioner has been able to cover it. unfortunately, i now have another digital ulcer (it just sounds gross, doesn't it??) that is not healing as it should. i bit the bullet and made an appointment with a rheumatologist up here and went in to see her on wednesday. let's just say, she was not happy that i have put off treatment this long. :/ so they drained me of about 12 gallons of blood to test and i go back this morning to find out the results. since scleroderma is a vascular disease (affecting the blood vessels, internal organs, etc.) there is a whole battery of tests that i need to have run on my insides. this all sounds very ominous but i am actually excited to get some answers and appropriate treatment. since i was misdiagnosed for so long and pumped full of all kinds of meds i didn't need and made me feel WORSE, i was apprehensive to find a new doctor. but i am so pleased with my new rheumatologist - i was in tears in her office because she actually sat and listened to me for an hour, WROTE DOWN what i was saying, validating everything i had been experiencing as opposed to responding condescendingly as doctors have in the past, and gave it to me straight. i have to be proactive and vigilant with my disease and i will be from now on. it was a huge wake up call for me. i go back this morning at 10am for the test results and a follow-up visit. i will let you know how it goes. :)
wow! brief, huh? imagine if i had told the WHOLE story :) mind you, i am typing with only 9 functioning phalanges right now and it's not real convenient for a blogger. lol my hubby likes to refer to my affected hand as "the claw". awesome. he's SO FUNNY. :)
so girls, if there's anything i can leave you with today it's this. don't put things off, especially when it comes to your health. autoimmune disease affects mainly women of child-bearing age (that's us.) and can show up in all kinds of symptoms and forms. if you feel "off" or just have a nagging "feeling" that you might need to pursue answers, DO IT. trust your motherly intuition. God uses doctors every day to perform miracles through them...
i am claiming these verses today:
"Though the LORD is on high, he looks down upon the lowly,
but the proud He knows from afar.
though i walk in the midst of trouble,
you preserve my life;
you stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes,
with your right hand you save me.
the LORD will fulfill His purpose for me;
your love, O LORD, endures forever-
do not abandon the works of your hands." psalm 138:6-8
love you girls - take care of yourselves today :) you are very important to many, many people!