Friday, September 19, 2014

I am not my body.

If you’ve been reading this blog lately, you know that I was diagnosed with celiac disease three months ago and discovered that I have soy intolerance shortly after. You know it’s been a rough adjustment in terms of changing my lifestyle. If you’re a friend of mine outside the internet world, you may also know that despite valiant efforts, my health is still far from fixed. I’m still bloated all the time and almost daily battle with nausea or abdominal cramps and pain. I’m tired a LOT. I still get hit by brain fog that feels like a massive hangover. I still get smacked with anxiety and brief times of depression.

Additionally, my eyes and mouth are now dry 24/7. I can no longer wear contact lenses due to this dryness and due to new allergies I have developed in response to the deposits my tears put on the contacts. I get headaches, which are a fairly recent development. Within the last month, my hair has started falling out more than usual. Somewhat surprisingly but I guess not so much so, I had bloodwork done this week that suggests that I have another autoimmune disease beyond celiac disease. I’m headed in to see a rheumatologist for further testing sometime in the near future.

Basically, it seems that my body is falling apart. And not because something is attacking it. It is falling apart because it’s attacking itself.

This is something I’ve had a hard time grasping and accepting. It’s very disturbing to think that my body is hurting me, trying to kill me. I’ve pondered this countless times, wondered at it, struggled with it as my new reality.

And I’ve come to a new realization through this, a realization that gives me some hope and comfort. It’s this:

I am not my body.

I am me, Kara, a soul. I live in this body. Yes, I tend to identify with it and call it me, but it’s not me. I am the soul living within this vessel, this transportation device I’ve been given to drive through this life. My body is not me, and I don’t have to accept it as me. I should see it as my vehicle, a vehicle I need to care for and mend during breakdowns. It is my responsibility to maintain it, but it isn’t actually me. I have no need to get too attached to it or to take its failings as a sign of failure on my part. It is a fallible vessel made from dirt, trying to function in a broken world.

I am my soul. I am Kara, and God knows my name. I am something bigger and deeper and so much more amazing than this body. And God loves my soul, so much so that he sent His Son to die for me so I could be with Him in eternity and have hope in this life.

And although this is the one body I’ve been given for this world, and it’s not treating me so well right now, it’s not the end-all-be-all. It’s what I have now, but it’s not what I have forever. I now put my hope in heaven, my hope in that day when we’re all healed and the suffering ends and we’re all together in our resurrected bodies. In moments when I literally feel like I’m falling apart and my face is stained with tears of frustration and pain, I can look upward and know that a better day is coming. God loves me, and He’s given me far more to look forward to, even after this body fails me.

I am not my body.  Praise Him for that.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Roy Boy at 2 Years

Two years old, Greyden Roy. The wonderful, terrible twos.

You are now talking and walking and running like a little person. You play with your brother and do boy things instead of baby things. Just last week you started jumping, getting both feet off the ground. Your run is smooth and you’ve become fairly adept at going up and down the stairs, so much so that we rarely feel the need to watch you on them anymore.

You love to swing, color, play cars, play with (fake) food, run around everywhere, and copy everything your big brother does. You enjoy many of the same things as him - music, singing, dancing, and puzzles, to name a few - and I don’t know how much of it is a learned behavior from watching him vs how much of it is what you would have liked even if he weren’t around. You sing the ABCs song and recognize several letters and numbers. Your vocabulary is well developed and it makes talking with you really fun.

Your ability to communicate also makes it easier to discipline you, because I can say things such as, “If you don’t stop it, you have to go to your room until you’re ready to be nice,” and you understand what I mean. On the other hand, your communication skills also make it easier for you to be manipulative, and you’re now using every excuse under the sun to delay bedtime at night, including “I can’t lay down,” “My foot hurts,” “My eyes hurt,” “more water please,” “I can’t sleep,” “door open!”...the list keeps going.

You are very difficult to shop with, either demanding to walk on your own and then refusing to stay close by, or demanding to be held when you can very well ride in the shopping cart or walk. These ridiculous expectations you have, of course, result in discipline from me and wailing from you and a lot of stares from fellow shoppers. It is a rare day that I get through a shopping trip with you and I’m not exhausted and sweating.

You’ve started preschool on Wednesdays and Fridays and are always unhappy to go into the room but then very much enjoying yourself when I come to pick you back up. Your teacher says you are always immediately fine after I walk away, so I think you just like to put on a show when I drop you off so that I feel loved. ;)

You've now moved out of your crib and into a bed on the floor in Krew's room. At first it went great, then it went not-so-great, but after a few nights of crying it out and learning that you can't just call for me or Daddy and get out of bed any time you please, you're finally staying in your bed calmly now like you used to do your crib. (Praise the Lord, I was losing my patience - and sleep!)

You are still a very picky eater and it kinda drives me insane trying to get nutrition in you. We fall back on vitamins and “fruit” packs which are actually entirely filled with vegetables these days. (You haven't noticed yet, hehe.) To top it off, you’ve been struggling with digestive issues, and I can’t help but be paranoid that you’re going to end up with celiac disease like your momma here. We had you tested and you were negative, but I also know that the blood tests are not as sensitive in children. Right now we have you drinking almond milk instead of cow’s milk and taking a daily dose of probiotics to try to get your system back in check. Sometimes I wonder if you may be lactose intolerant - we’re still trying to figure it out. Fortunately you seem fine other than the obvious digestive systems (I’ll spare the details) and it’s not affecting your daily life or your demeanor.

Your hair is what I would consider light brown with blonde highlights. You have brown eyes with a hint of hazel in them. You are currently getting your 2-year molars which I believe are leading to some occasional fussiness. You still have some chub on your arms and legs, but your torso has completely slimmed down and you now look fairly lean. Your torso actually seems to be very long, and so oftentimes your shirts look a little small compared to your shorts. You’re in size 18-24 month shirts, 18-24 month shorts, size 6 or 7 shoes, and (shockingly) still size 3 diapers. How you fit in size 3 diapers is beyond my comprehension, but they really do still fit. We stick 4s on you at night to help hold more pee, but it’s still 3s during the day. At your 2-year appointment on July 30th, the nurse measured your length at 35 ¾ inches, but honestly think that was a little off. I think you’re more like 35 inches. So that puts you around 63rd percentile for height according to online sources. You weighed 28 lbs 4 ½ oz (52nd percentile), and your head was 19 ¾ inches (84th percentile).

You are a handful at times, resistant to discipline and completely unphased when you disappoint others. You grin at the same reprimanding words that would have sent your older brother into a fit of tears when he was your age. You are persistent when you want something and will beg, whine, cry, and tantrum until your daddy and I are about to lose our minds. On the flip side, you are an incredibly loving little boy. You will frequently come up to me and say, “Mommy….” in a sweet, loving tone and then wrap your little arms around me and just squeeze. You do the same to your daddy, and it melts our hearts. You love doing “nose-nose” (eskimo kisses) and laying your head on our shoulders. It’s super precious.

Life is so much fun with you little guy. We love you!