Bouncing back, bouncing all around

It’s a good thing that the Lord is great and consistent every single moment of every single day, keeping our best good in mind when we are bouncing around a bit in life. Yesterday was a day with two of those hits for me.

I recently described a dilemma I had with a new treatment direction as I trend overall toward recovery from a serious illness. I am grateful for some better days and many more better moments than most of the past 7 1/2 years. I’ve barely grasped the significance of all of the changes let alone managed the new patterns of illness/recovery/illness and so on. The following 2 pictures from my early “birthday celebration” depict this very well I think.

9:00 a.m. after my alarm went off, back to bed then after the tail end of an unexpected/long tic attack episode, and needing to eat before taking PRN medication. I can’t control my left arm and struggle to feed myself, manage dental appliances with assistance.
4:30 p.m. celebrating at the Chit Chat Tour of social media stars Diamond and Silk before dinner along the riverfront.
JW Marriott, Grand Rapids, MI

With the blessing of an incredible local endocrinologist (that I miraculously got to see in record timing) I am free to make my own changes with new medications (this time covered by insurance, yay!). Her intervention has led to both successful and sometimes confusing experimentation. I’ve consulted with a local compounding pharmacist, prayed and landed on a plan that includes returning to mercury detox. Mercury can be sequestered in the tissues of the thyroid. I suspect that Hg is getting stirred up, even dumping as I transition from suppressing the thyroid: Docs prescribed high doses of meds for decades but an Endo at the Mayo Clinic recommends drastically titrating them down. I can’t seem to go fast or slow enough to cope with the outcomes each day. Hg as a mitigating factor seems the only plausible explanation to me right now given that I was doing so well initially then the seizure attack episodes returned. And mercury binders, minerals affecting the thyroid inversely affect the pattern of episodes. Mercury showed up again in recent blood work . . . Gratefully I have the best tools around now for both of these avenues.

I felt really beat up and exhausted as we left the house later today yet rallied for the cause of celebrating my upcoming birthday none the less. The tickets were already purchased for a show that is a long car ride away from home and my beloved Steve would be doing all of the driving as usual. It was a good decision to go. I had a really nice time with Steve. Then I took my Hg binder supps too close to bedtime and have been awake all night. Well crapolaski! (That’s Polish, of course.) This time at least I was able to get some correspondence done as the night broke into day. Crying and weeping really take the life out of you for a time, then joy comes in the mourning.

But social media stars Diamond and Silk are exactly the rescue remedy that I needed today. They are a hoot! Don’t follow this link if you aren’t open to other political viewpoints in our hotbed of political correctness in the United States these days. These sisters are polarizing! Kind of refreshing for me: a gal who has chosen to be transparent with the real ups and downs of overcoming a serious illness. The straight scoop is just alright with me. “Don’t sugar-coat it baby! That’s right!” And so is the Word from Lord, Jesus Christ, that sees me through it all. I hope He will do the same for you Gentle Reader. Have you trusted in Him no matter what? JJ


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.


1 Peter 5:10

Great things He hath done

 

Praise at sunrise 5 Many, Lord my God,
    are the wonders you have done,
    the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
    were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
    they would be too many to declare.

Sacrifice and offering you did not desire—
    but my ears you have opened
    burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require.
Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—
    it is written about me in the scroll.
I desire to do your will, my God;
    your law is within my heart.”

I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly;
    I do not seal my lips, Lord,
    as you know.
10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
    I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help.
I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness
    from the great assembly.

11 Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord;
    may your love and faithfulness always protect me.  (Psalm 40; NIV)

After speaking in adoration, gratitude, humility, and transparency, King David seeks compassion from his Lord and savior Jesus Christ.  He has been literally chased by his enemies to the cold, darkness of living in caves.  His very life, his promised kingdom, and all he knows is at stake yet he begins this song with faithful praise.  Thereafter he presents his request for the Lord’s mercy and protection.  Although not quoted here, this psalm of King David goes on to pray for the salvation of his people and desolation of his enemies.  In the end his hope that the Lord be glorified through it all.  Yes indeed.  Wow.  What a tremendous example for me!

Adoration.  Thank you almighty God for all that you have provided to this day.  I see your omnipotent power in the sequencing of events of my life to bring me into the best of fellowship to you my Lord and King.  I praise you here and forevermore.  You have provided exceedingly for my real needs.  The greatest evidence is in love of my life that is now here; I am honored to be at his side, his beloved too.

Gratitude.  For my times of sickness you have given me a warm bed in which to convalesce, healthy food, good medical care, and infused your strength into my weary frame to do the tasks that are needed each day.  No matter how I may be feeling, the facts remain true that you care for the details of my life and are here with me.  I am never alone.  Most of all your love changes my sorrow into joy.

Humility.  The striving, the determination of my youth were eventually broken well into my adulthood so that I might realize the plans you have for me.  Hurt has yielded to forgiveness and freedom.  Following the lead of my earthly kinsman redeemer instead of my own desires has brought me into the fullness of what it means to follow you.  Much goodness has come from all of these.  The motto that began the leap of faith to finding Jesus years ago has come true:  letting go and letting God reign in my heart must remain above all else.

Transparency.  You gave me a fondness for writing long ago, mentored by my own mother (a naturally gifted writer).  This blog has seen me through much suffering and challenged me to return my eyes to Your majesty, Your creation, and more.  I have learned that the truth about life is often separate from what I can see.  Lord keep me soft to submit to Your ways like the clay who gives its essence to the master potter craftsman.  Surely goodness shall be the result for Your glory.

 Prayerfulness.  I do ask for healing of this wretched illness that plagues me for hours each day.  Guide me in my interactions with others when frustrated by so many things; may I be a light for my true hope that is in my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Bring rest and lead my husband, Steve, in the decisions we are facing.  Grant him wisdom at home and at work, as a father to his four wonderful adult children, and as a leader in our church.  Thank you for his faithful witness to so many of what it means to be a man after Your own heart.  And please bless the fellow sojourners you have brought into my life, especially my Skype Bible Prayer partners Karan and Sherry.  Such sweet fellowship is salve to my soul.

Great things the Lord hath done in my life since I met my first Gentle Reader about three years ago.  Thank you for coming alongside me for the ups and downs, bunny trail side trips, victories, and more.  Know that I am praying for you as I write this, that the Lord be with you this day too.  He is so good and worthy of our praise.  Perhaps King David said it best later in Psalm 40 like this:

16 But may all who seek you
    rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,
    “The Lord is great!”

If the story made a difference

A blog is an interesting vehicle in one’s life.  You get to write about anything you want and just about anyone, anywhere can read it.  At least that is how this blog is structured.  Funny thing is that once you get going on a particular topic, there’s a high likelihood that you might reveal a little more about yourself than you might if you were in person.  The ideas just flow when here alone at the keyboard and if it is a personal blog (instead of a professional or business forum) well things can get personal quite easily!  If you are honest, that is!

Why bring this up?  Well I have come to realize that some tragic events in my childhood are influencing the nature of my recovery from illness.  The question I have grappled with of late is whether or not to write about it.  Oh the story is juicy enough to draw some interest and you bet I’ll let you know how the Lord has helped me endure and overcome the pain of it all.  Healing has come for these hurts because of the love of my Heavenly Father manifest in my personal relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ.  The Holy Spirit has guided the process:  providing counsel, “Jesus with skin on” in the form of loving sojourners, helpful tools, and His glorious written Word leading me to hope.  So why share the hairy details anyways?

Possibly I would because horrific illness may trigger past hurts for others more than me.  I don’t want you to feel alone if that is part of your story.  New trauma often stirs up old wounds:  at least the one we might find are not fully healed.  We might not know that they are not fully healed until something new happens in our lives as in the course of serious illness.  I view many of these events as “another involuntary growth experience” and am often left feeling more whole when I work through the tender issues correctly.  The problem is that when you happen to mention to a medical professional that waking nightmares, seizures, involuntary screaming episodes, and convulsions have triggered scenes that might be from your past YOU GET A PSYCHIATRIC LABEL AND THEY STOP TRYING TO TREAT THE MEDICAL ILLNESS.  This is frustrating indeed!  The medical illness came first.  Healing secondary issues is a bonus, like clearing out cobwebs in a musty garage.  Cool beans and all that jazz.  Keep the treatment focus on the root cause people!

So for me to share old or emerging facts from my abusive past runs the risk of my physical symptoms not being taken seriously.  Convulsions require serious examination, eh?  I paid dearly this past Saturday for venturing out on a private lake for my husband’s canoe and kayaking class hosted with a friend.  Even though the water was treated with blue dye to prevent algae growth, it was there anyways.  I have never had such violent, animalistic, horrifying convulsions in these 2 1/2 years of seizure attacks as I did one hour after I returned home.  You would not believe the level of torment I endured continuously for 2 wretched hours!  The rest of the evening was awful too with a rebound of episodes on Sunday.  I lost over a day of my life in payment for enjoying a paddling outing with my beloved and some friends.  The biotoxin illness won and I lost.  Tell me how this is all in my head as the working out of an unhappy childhood?  NO WAY.

If the story of my sorry childhood made a difference to the “Hope Beyond” I would like the Gentle Reader to find, I would write about it here.  However in doing so I would risk selling myself short in the process for those who might not follow my whole story.   One of my blogs generally covers only one topic as in a chapter of a book.  Further, reading a posting about a waking nightmare that was remarkably similar to a very bad day a long time ago would put the focus on the past and not on the exposure to cyanobacteria earlier that afternoon.  And in the end we bloggers don’t need to share everything about ourselves to be heard, to make a difference in the literary world.  We only need to be genuine to ourselves, to our subject matter.  Should I need to share a scene from my past to make a point I might do so briefly.  To say more will put the focus in the wrong place.  I need to keep my eyes fixed on my great expectation for what lies ahead of me (and all who believe), in the glorious presence of my Lord and Savior.  One day when my life on this earth is over He will make right all that was not right back there and heal me then, if not sooner.  I believe there will be a blessing for my stewardship of the experiences, sacrifices, ministries, and choices of humility He allowed in my life if I have succeeded in acting according to His will.  And if I have acted according to His will then it is only because He helped me to do so!  This stuff is way too hard to make it on my own.

The story that truly makes a difference is not mine.  The story that has the power to transform the lives, the hearts of mankind is that of the person of Jesus Christ.  Let His own  Words of His life, His pain and suffering as chronicled in the Gospels (the first 4 books of the New Testament in the Bible) lead you to His throne of grace.  Lay your burdens before the One Who is, Who was, and Who will forever be.  Let His love redeem the pains of the past so that both you and I may live freely in His presence forevermore.  What great fellowship we shall enjoy one day soon!  What great joy we will know when He calls each of us by name Who knows Him as Lord and Savior.  Oh how I long to hear His stories of how much He loves us, He takes our prayers to the Father, and has prepared a glorious place for us to dwell in together:  Him and I; you and Him; the fellowship of believers; the cherubim and seraphim.  Yeah that’s where my focus outta be!

Philippians 4:8New International Version (NIV)

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Oh yeah!  Now that’s some great writing!  ;J