Seven years ago this night, I contracted viral hepatitis kayaking in a local reservoir, beginning what has become 7 years of serious illness. Yet today passed with more of a sense of gratitude than mourning the lost years. May I share the good things that came from this journey?
- Learning to blog, beginning in the summer of 2012 and continuing to this day.
- Wrote and published an eBook: Hope Beyond Lyme: The First Year
- Learning to make macrame jewelry, starting an online and vendor jewelry business when up in the middle of the night and selling the business 2 1/2 years later with a sense of accomplishment, closure.
- Learning about the numerous medical conditions for which I would be tested, ruled-out/diagnosed, treated, and make some level of progress on.
- Started, developed, and moderate a mercury detox group on Facebook that now contains about 3,000 members and 1 Co-Admin!
- Meeting some dear friends in the chronic illness community in relationships that 1) began locally and have continued to this day or 2) transformed from online to face-to-face either electronically or in-person. Love you ladies!
- Learned how to develop simple websites for e-commerce, blogging, and marketing for myself and others.
- Supported my husband as best as I could in his distributorship of performance kayaks and gear: River Bear Racing.
- Became a Master Gardener and advanced within the ranks with as many in-home projects as those in the community.
- Became an Assistant Editor of the United States Canoe Association publication called Canoe News under the tutelage of the handsome Editor and husband named Steve!
- Recently became Editor of Across the Fence for the Purdue Extension Master Gardener program. This required a crash course in another online program: Microsoft Sway.
- Became a better cook and homemaker/helpmate to my beloved Steve as I have been increasingly able to do so as the years have progressed.
- Became my own patient advocate, occupational therapist, care coordinator, medical billing and records specialist, and health coach. Sure, I hired a Naturopath for epigenetic counseling that was beyond my brain fog to understand yet kept in-step with as much of my care as humanly possible: seeking answers and finding some too.
- Learned to camp via travel trailer aka our mobile clean room! We are grateful for the Lord’s provision on this one.
- Taught myself via online videos to sew upholstery for our patio and the travel trailer.
- Learned to grow vegetables and native plants; working on a community rain garden project for the near future.
- Experimented with a some volunteer work for our community park this Fall that really stretched my abilities and tolerances.
- Kept my occupational therapy license current with online continuing education, review of pertinent literature, and following the latest issues-and-trends in my profession.
- Trialed being a caregiver to an elderly family member. Didn’t succeed yet worked very hard in this role for six months earlier this year.
- Became a writer!
- Fell more deeply in love with my intended beloved, Stevers aka River Bear.
- And most importantly, grew into a vital relationship with my heavenly Father, heavenly Husband, and Savior Jesus Christ. He is my rock now and forevermore!
How did all of this happen when experiencing daily convulsive episodes and its consequences virtually every day for 6 1/2 of these past 7 years? Well that’s just how good our God is, Gentle Reader. Little was done in my own strength in the most wretched of months. The episodes in general aren’t as bad these days as long as I stay away from the worst noxious stimuli to which I am sensitive and plan rest days accordingly. They aren’t gone yet. I’ll write more about a recent setback soon. Gratefully, the reactivity has come down quite a bit; I can see marvelous progress. Yeah God and praise the Lord for His mercy and grace!
The day passed with gratitude indeed. JJ