15 September 2011

Diagnosis Failure and Perspective

What do you do when you know something is wrong with your body and yet all the tests provide no definitive answer? I can open my mouth and show you the sores in it. I can show you where my tongue has turned color. It's not cancer, it's not a stain. It's a mystery. I can show you the rash on my face. It is not lupus. It is not rosacea. What is it? Why does it accompany extreme fatigue and joint pain? You can see my eyelids are red and angry looking but antibiotics, ointments and eye drops don't make it go away. My guts aren't working properly but it's not colitis, Crohn's, not a h-pylori, but they are inflamed. Why? What do you do when you don't know what you're fighting?

You rejoice. I am a saved woman. It's all good after that.

You pray. Pray for patience. Lord, help me cope with these annoying and often debilitating symptoms as befitting a woman of God. And please, let the doctor changing my medications be a step in the right direction. I beg You for the willpower and wisdom to do the things the doctor says will help.

You change what you can. Going gluten free is a royal pain in the, well, you know, not to mention the hurt it will put to your pocket, but it has helped relieve some of my more extreme intestinal symptoms. The doctor didn't say I was imagining symptoms, he said they weren't caused by any of the diseases he suspected. So keep going gluten free, Rosemarie and learn to like it. In fact, be glad you have found some relief. He also said that my inability to get proper sleep was likely making all of my known maladies and symptoms exponentially worse. So bu-bye caffeine I love so well. Bu-bye late night TV when I can't sleep.

I need to stop doing things I know are aggravating injuries. I am proud and I am stubborn. I know my neck and back have major malfunctions and I push myself to the point of pain, so much pain that I can't sleep through it even with drugs. Less stuff to take care of equals less stuff to cause me agony. Simplify whenever possible. I know I need to lose weight and succumb to call for chocolate and ice-cream way too often. My accomplishment journal is still a wicked-smart idea for me. I just need to redefine what I consider accomplishments.

You cultivate gratitude. Thank you, Lord that I do not have any of the scary diseases the doctor was testing for and expected to find. Thank you, Lord that I have medical insurance. Thank you that my new doctor is a brother in Christ. Thank you that if he is right and all these things really are separate problems stacked one upon another, that all the doctors I have seen thus far: ophthalmologist; internist; gastroenterologist; immunologist and neurologist are all working together. Thank you that all their tests, though they have not answered this problem, have uncovered problems that could have had catastrophic results for me if left untreated. Mostly Lord, thank you that this body isn't the one I will be stuck with in eternity.

Psalm 139:13-16

13 For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will give thanks to You, for [j]I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.

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