Thursday, November 13, 2014

And then life got crazier.

Life. It has been a bit insane lately, friends.

We’ve in a very backward way stumbled across a lot of health issues with our littlest guy, Greyden. The last month has involved various doctors’ appointments with a urologist, a pediatric surgeon, and a pediatric GI doctor, along with a testicular ultrasound, an upper GI (x-ray), an abdominal ultrasound, testicular surgery, possible diagnosis with cyclic vomiting syndrome, an endoscopy, diagnosis of eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), and now allergy testing and strict diet changes in the very near future.

Meanwhile, I have been undergoing a strict elimination/autoimmune diet for myself, which has drastically changed my health around but unfortunately takes a ridiculous amount of my time and energy to maintain. And holy camoly is it expensive. I am still struggling with fatigue, some GI issues, brain fog, and other autoimmune-type responses, but they are drastically lessening in intensity and frequency, so I’m grateful for that. I’m undergoing an endoscopy next week to further investigate my GI issues. I will be curious to see if I have signs of EoE, which Greyden was just diagnosed with, since it is hereditary.

All in all, we’re holding on. I am researching and reading CONSTANTLY in my free time, trying to learn about autoimmune diseases, digestive disorders, and how to turn them around through diet and lifestyle changes. My thoughts are constantly spinning and I feel like I’m back in grad school with the way my brain hurts daily. At the same time, my faith in functional medicine and the importance of diet has skyrocketed as I’ve seen their effects on my own health over the last month and have learned about numerous others who have experienced similar results. I don’t want myself or Greyden to be required to take medications for the rest of our lives, nor do I want our health to worsen. And obviously I also want to protect Krew, who so far has seemed to avoid the inheritance of my unhealthy genetics, but who knows what potentially lies in his future.

In the midst of all this, I, for the first time in my life, found myself in a situation where I was reaching out to people, uninhibitedly leaning on them, and asking for meals to be brought to us because the stress of keeping up with our lives was too much. It was a new place to be in, but it was enlightening and taught me the importance of honesty and transparency with those around us. It showed me how much people care, how they’ll lift you up in prayer and show up in unexpected ways to support you, if you only tell them your struggles. I also found myself in a new place in my relationship with God. In the days leading up to Greyden’s examinations of his abdomen, I wrestled with the realization that we had the potential for receiving very bad news. I somehow internally accepted this possibility, and yet I knew without a shadow of a doubt that God would give me the grace and strength to get through it. I cried many tears and ate very little during those days, but I also reached a new acceptance of the brokenness of this life and the sovereignty of God’s will. It was this internal peace and calm, this steadfast knowledge that whatever was coming, I would make it through with God by my side. I know that this new leap in faith for me was only one of the many “good” things that God brought through our recent and current struggles.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” - Romans 8:28

To finish up, I want to share an excerpt from a book I’m currently reading called “Women and Stress: Practical Ways to Manage Tension” by Jean Lush. Jean shares the story of a woman who experienced miscarriage and the woman's thoughts as she walked through her intense grief afterward. This woman’s words really touched home with me regarding my recent growth in faith through the struggles we’ve been experiencing:

“I know without a doubt that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him” (Rom 8:28). Some people may read this verse and interpret it this way: God works pain and joy, good and evil into my life for my good. Thus miscarriage, stillbirth, or any other loss is inflicted upon me by God in order to accomplish good in my life. I prefer to look at it another way. God did not afflict us with the death of our baby to work a certain “good” or growth into our lives. Rather, our lives were touched by the pain of human experience, and in the process of groping for answers and understanding, growth was produced. God’s involvement with us in that growth process gave us hope, strength, tenacity, and comfort. As we came to grips with our anger and depression and guilt, God stepped into our human weakness and lifted us out of the depths of despair. That is how God worked good into our lives during our loss.”

Amen, sister. God is by our side.  He loves us, He’s using the horrible fallenness of this world to grow us, and He’s holding us through the struggles and pain.

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