Each year seems to go faster than the last. The Holiday season seems to vanish in a blink of an eye. In a few short days 2018 will come to a close as it does so many reflect on the year. Additionally, countless make resolutions to make the upcoming year better.
We thank the year for the all the moments we encountered both those in which overflowed with joy and those drenched in hardships. We have learned an abundance of lessons, encounter adventures, and have flourished in character. I invite you to join me as I reflect on my year.
January was rocky emotionally for me. I struggle with my birthday and this past one the struggle seemed to be greater. I spent many hours soaking the pillow with tears. There’s some anxiety around my birthday, than there’s the fact that my health seems to get worse as I age, and lastly we are fairly certain that I was a conjoined twin so I needed to grieve this.
I was diagnosed with mast cell around February. Mast Cell Activation Syndrome is rare. Mast cell are a vital part to our blood as they assist in the function of the immune system. They are found in many locations throughout the body. “Mast cells react to foreign bodies and injury by releasing a variety of potent chemical mediators, such as histamine, when activated. In a healthy person these chemicals will act beneficially to protect and heal the body, but in a person with MCAS these same chemicals are inappropriately triggered and released and have a negative effect on the body. ”
March we had a huge blizzard with over 20 inches of snow. Additionally, the winds were crazy high. We lost power for well over a week, no cell reception or internet for a period of time as well. Learning to live with illnesses without electricity was difficult. Of course, I was flaring and my gastro wanted me to go to the hospital however, we couldn’t leave the town at all. I was due for Saline a few days after the storm. Cell phones weren’t working so I couldn’t call my nurse. We assumed she would stay home and we’d call her once we could. But she showed up at my house and placed a central line so I could have my fluids. I was beyond thankful and amazed.
During the spring I switched where I lead online Bible study. I had been leading with an amazing group of women for a few years. I was deeply blessed by every woman and learned so much. I am eternally thankful for that season. However, the Lord promoted my heart that it was time to move. I am honored to be a small group leader now with Proverbs 31 Ministries.
They say, chronic illness shows you who your true friends are, which is so true. It is common for us to lose friends due to illness. Unfortunately, this happened once again to me which was a devastating and heartbreaking experience. You know it is always possible but you never really expect it to happen.
The first week of June I was able to go swimming for the first time in over five years in my Aunt’s salt water pool. I haven’t tolerated the sun this well in over six years. I also brought my first pair of high heels again in years (about eight years). All simple things that I never thought I would be able to do again. I cannot even put into words my gratitude.
A new set of symptoms appeared around May but didn’t become unbearable until the end of June. I began vomiting uncontrollably and direah non stop. I attempted to bite the bullet and ride it out for a little over a week before becoming unbearably week and went to the ER. After two ER trips I was admitted. It was by far the most frustrating and difficult admission. Very little was done. Few test were run. I was sick of people telling me they didn’t know what was wrong with me or what to do. I left with few improvements. This issue continued for months. I got TPN for three days but my new GI never filled out the paper work for me to continue it. I wasn’t tolerating ensure or any nutrition drinks therefore, I lost over forty pounds in a few short months. After months of searching for answers and being completely drained we were told it was all a combination of the steroid tapper and Gastroparesis. Additionally, we found out that I am adrenal insufficient and that my gastro almost accidentally killed me by tapering me way to fast.
I had two scopes with the GI mess. The upper endo scope showed a lot of inflammation (one of the worst they’ve seen) and water from the day before. The beginning of December I received a medication to try for my Gastropresis. I get hungry occasionally and I am eating some. It’ll take six weeks to work. You don’t realize how fundamental and vital nutrition is until you don’t have it.
I had my first PICC line placed in July so that I can do Saline infusions at home on my own. I was extremely nervous to have it placed. The staff at the hospital was excellent and it went smoothly. It has been a huge blessing. I know a lot of people don’t like PICC lines but I have had no issues with it and I’m thankful as I said. It has allowed me to get the fluids my body needs, helped control some symptoms, and has allowed me to be a little more active.
I completed my Bachelors degree with honors officially the end of July. I took off a semester and I am glad that I did. I had some personal struggles that arose in addition to my health chaos. I begin my masters degree January 14th.
Around September I had my first seizure. They most closely mimic an absent seizure. One of my doctors thinks that they are related to lack of nutrition for so long.
November and December were good months overall very busy with all things holiday related. I’ve dealt with extra fatigue and numbness these two months.
I am deeply thankful for all God has taught me during this year. I hope that each struggle and joy has brought Him honor and glory. I am ready to see what He has in store for me in 2019 and for those I hold dear to my heart.