Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Praying For Healing....Would You Please Join Me?

I break this blog silence to update everyone on why I have been being "MIA" on this blog and to ask for your prayers, and the prayers of your friends, family and church. If you're like me you know there is power in prayer and as the Lord says:

"For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them" Matt 18:20

I'm going to start from the beginning so forgive me if some of this is information you already know (if we are Facebook friends or IRL friends, humor me :-)

Back in January of this year I traveled to Ethiopia for my court hearing and to meet Isaiah for the first time. The trip went wonderfully, I passed court, got to spend 6 amazing days with my newest son, see parts of his beautiful birth country and experience his culture. It was a wonderful trip! Upon coming home I got very sick! Jet lag was horrible with a capital H and I came home with a friendly parasite. ER visits, CT scans, chest X-rays, blood work, antibiotics, pro-biotics and numerous co-pays later I thought I had finally gotten better just in time to travel back in April to bring Isaiah home. I was covered in prayer for my health as I prepared to leave in April and I had a huge peace about leaving. My poor mom, God love her had asked me if there was any way I did not have to travel to bring Isaiah home, could someone else do it? She had spent 3 months watching her "baby" be terribly sick and was honestly scared that me leaving again would mean a sick Sarah again once I got home.

In April I traveled back to Ethiopia to bring Isaiah home. The trip again went great. Everything went as expected with our Embassy appointment and on April 20th Isaiah and I stepped foot on US soil and he was officially home!! The days and weeks following our coming home seemed to go great. I had ZERO jet lag!! Seriously, how does that even happen, lol I went from being in Africa to being home and never once did I have a problem sleeping or waking up at crazy hours of the night. PTL!! Isaiah on the other hand, lol that poor child would fall asleep while I was feeding him, bathing him, you name it he fell asleep during it. Thankfully after a few weeks he was on a pretty good schedule. I'm sure those first few weeks home I was going on pure adrenaline. Dealing with starting a new job, adjusting to home life with two kiddos and trying to settle into our new normal, dealing with Isaiah's night terrors (yes a baby can have those and no I wasn't expecting it) accompanied by doctor's appointments, blood work, surgery, fighting with my insurance company, getting Noah finished up with his school year and getting settled into our new church. Things were crazy but I was counting my blessings and just thankful to finally have both my boys on the same continent, under the same roof!

Over the next few months I was tired ALL the time, had stomach issues with bouts of nausea, vomiting, going all the time, not being able to go (I know TMI, lol) feeling bloated all the time and having really bad shortness of breath whenever I ate ANYTHING! I began going to a new family doctor who is super sweet and really knowledgeable but when I first started telling her what was going on with me, her answer was "well you need to lose weight" Really? I mean don't get me wrong, but since last November I have lost almost 75 pounds and before I lost the weight I never felt like I did currently. Since I wasn't really getting anywhere with her I decided to look into some theories myself. After talking to some friends I decided to eliminate gluten from my diet to see if that helped? To my surprise it helped a little bit but not completely. I still felt bloated and had shortness of breath but nothing as bad as it was, so I thought maybe it was a gluten allergy? I went back to see my doctor and she said she wanted to test me for Celiac's Disease and send me to a GI specialist to have a scope done.

So, fast forward to last week I had 10 tubes of blood drawn for a Celiac panel and went to the GI specialist to have a scope done only to have to go back the following day to have a colonoscopy done as well, that thankfully went fine and nothing was found on that end. As far as my scope, that is a different story. The doctor found a bleeding lesion in my intestin that he took a biopsy of and he also discovered I have what is called Gastroparesis.

Gastroparesis, also called delayed gastric emptying, is a medical condition consisting of a paresis (partial paralysis) of the stomach, resulting in food remaining in the stomach for a longer time than normal. Normally, the stomach contracts to move food down into the small intestine for digestion. The vagus nerve controls these contractions. Gastroparesis may occur when the vagus nerve is damaged and the muscles of the stomach and intestines do not work normally. Food then moves slowly or stops moving through the digestive tract

Well, no wonder I was having all my stomach issues?? On one hand I was thankful that I did not have Celiac's but on the other, part of me thought maybe it would have been better then what I am currently dealing with? I have spent the last week researching this condition, trying to figure out the best way to handle it. Unfortunately it can cause a lot of issues regarding nutrition and vitamin absorption because as it says above, food is not going through at the rate it should or at all? There is not always a specific cause for this to occur, but it can sometimes be caused by a virus. In my case, my doctor seems to think it was caused by the parasite I came home with after my trip to Ethiopia in January :-(

Dealing with this has not been fun. In trying to keep my spirits up, I have started joking with my mom and saying "it is almost like I had lap band surgery, but for free" because currently I seriously can not eat without feeling super sick, being in pain and gaining an easy 3-4 pounds in one day because the food is not going anywhere. Last week for Thanksgiving I decided even if it made me sick I was not going to ruin the holiday for my boys so we were going to have our Thanksgiving dinner and mommy would eat with them. Besides a few bits of a lunch at work that I ate, that evening's dinner was all I ate for the day and the following day I weighed out of curiosity and discovered I gained 8 pounds!! Can we say frustrating and crazy?!?!

Currently I am waiting to go have yet another test done this Friday where I will be swallowing a pill that has a camera in it so doctors can see how long it is taking things to get through my stomach? I have a follow up appointment scheduled with my GI doctor next Tuesday where I am praying I get lots of answers and a plan to allow me to feel human again and lead a normal healthy life. It is the absolute worse feeling when you feel too sick and too tired to do anything, let alone play with your kids. I have cried over the fact that it has become normal for my oldest son to come up to me on the couch or in my bed and ask me "Mommy does your tummy hurt?" or "Are you too tired" It breaks my heart that this condition has crippled me to a certain degree as far as what I am able to do. Working 12 hours shifts makes it even harder, not only to work but to recover on my days off from my lack of energy. I force myself to "fake it" for the sake of my boys. We still do things and go places, but on the inside I am falling apart, my body is screaming from pain and exhaustion and all I want to do is lay in bed. There are moments where my shortness of breath get so bad that I find myself scared something is going to happen to me. I stay in constant prayer, pleading with the Lord to please heal me and allow me to have my life back where I am active, running around with my boys, enjoying life.

As if dealing with my GI stuff wasn't enough, yesterday while I was at work I was sitting on break eating some chicken noodle soup (one of the few things I can handle eating) and reading my bible when I started to feel real light headed and feeling like my heart was going to beat out of my chest. I went a grabbed a pulse reader off my cart and my heart rate was measuring at 188 beats per minute. My first thought was the machine was faulty, so I checked my pulse myself manually and got the same reading. Still feeling really funny I went into the office and told my charge nurse what was going on. She checked my blood pressure and it was reading 166/96 The decision was made to send me out via EMS to the ER to get checked out. 7 hours later I was discharged with instructions to wear a halter monitor for 24 hours because the doctor thinks I may have what is called SVT, rapid heart rate with no known origin. I don't know a lot about SVT and honestly I don't want to know. After the doctor in the ER told me what his thoughts were I just layed there crying thinking to myself I am only 29, I have two young boys, why is this happening to me??

The answer is, I don't know why ANY of this is happening to me BUT I do know that God IS in control of my life, every detail of it and I HAVE to trust in knowing that. The doctor did tell me that there is a slim chance that yesterday's episode could have been caused by not taking my blood pressure medicine yesterday morning and by the stress that my body has been under over the last few months being so sick. I am due to take the monitor back tomorrow and will follow up with a cardiologist next week. Let me just say this because I feel I need to, I KNOW that my health problems are small compared to others and I know there are MANY other people going through much worse then me. Please know I consider myself very blessed and am thankful that these are the ONLY things going on with me, but please also understand I am a single mommy of two precious little boys who deserve 100% of their mommy and that friends is why I come to you tonight and ask you to please join me in praying for COMPLETE healing!!

Recently before my stomach issues got so bad, I had put myself on a plant based diet. I was only eating fruits, vegetables and soy. I cut EVERYTHING else out, in hopes it would make me feel better. Sadly because the food isn't going anywhere, nothing is helping right now. I am still determined to eat plant based for my health, especially now with my episode yesterday. I am just going to try and eat 6 very small meals a day, in hopes that the small portions won't cause so much pain and discomfort. I am going tomorrow to purchase some more pro-biotics as well, hoping that those too will help heal me.

I don't know why these past 11 months have been full of so much sickness for me? I know the Lord is teaching me something, but what exactly I don't know yet? I was talking to my best friend last night while I was waiting at the ER and we were talking about what it is the Lord could be teaching me through all of this, and she said "Sarah, maybe the Lord is trying to teach you to rely on Him for everything" Really? Don't I do that? I like to think I do, but do I? If I was being honest, I would have to say no. As much as we all try to completely rely on the Lord, our sinful nature likes to try and take a hold and allow ourselves to think " I know the Lord will work it out, but let me help him by doing this, or maybe if I do things my way everything will work?"

For example, a couple of weeks ago my truck started smoking and making a popping noise, it turned out the spark plug had went bad and it was going to cost $350 to get it fixed. Recently my hours got cut at work and with bills, post placement visits, my doctor visits and blood work and Christmas coming up I just didn't have the money to get my truck fixed. I told my mom the Lord would provide, we didn't need to worry and thankfully my sister and I have been sharing her truck but in my heart was I really relying on the Lord to provide the money for my truck or was I again trying to take matters into my own hands? Sadly, it was the second of the two. Then last night after a super emotionally draining day I was sitting in my room reading the Word when my mom walked in and shared with me that she had received an e-mail from a friend who was wanting to pay to have my truck fixed! I broke down in tears. How awesome and powerful is our God!!

"Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty." John 6:35

He is our daily bread!! He provides our every need, all we need to do is TRUST in HIM and RELY on HIM!! I went to bed last night praising and thanking HIM for the amazing ways He provides for us and praying that in that He would choose to heal me of this sickness!!

"Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases" Psalms 103:2-3

I come to you tonight friends asking you to please join me! I have some important appointments coming up over the next week and I would be humbled if you would please be praying for not only my appointments but for COMPLETE healing for me in the name of JESUS!! I have recently joined the twitter bandwagon (don't start following me just yet because I assure you I have no idea what I'm doing) but I follow my pastor and this morning I retweeted a tweet from him as well as posted it on my Facebook because it hit so close to home for me and this season of sickness I am in.

"You can't have the testimony without the test. God promises strength for you IN storms, not FROM them."

I look forward to the day that I am healed of this sickness, when I can shout Praise to His name for healing me and restoring my health. I pray that not only will I come through this healthier and stronger but most importantly closer to my Creator, the One who knit me together in my mother's womb, in His image. Relying on Him for every step and every breath. For He is my manna, my daily bread.
 
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