Hello, dear ones...
Where to begin....this is a post that I've been dreaming of being able to share with you for more than two years now, and here I sit, not even sure where to start. :) How do you put into words all the gratitude in your heart, for all that you've been blessed with?
Let me back up to where I left off on my last health update......we were attempting to move forward with IVig treatments, however God firmly closed the door on that! The insurance company denied the treatments not once, but 4 times all together, as they continued denying every appeal we (or Mayo Clinic) made. After we found out that our last appeal was denied, I was devastated. Truly. But I have an amazing husband and some wonderful friends and mentors at church, who prayed for me and with me and sat with me while I cried buckets of tears. They listened while I cried out to God like I never have before. It was humbling, to say the least. I don't generally do the ugly cry in front of other people ;) but these dear friends were there with me, through what I can only describe as one of the darkest times of my life.
At that point, I honestly felt like I had no hope left. We were quickly running out of options for things that we could try that might help me to feel better. I was under the impression that there were only two remaining drugs that I could try, and neither one was a good option for various reasons. I can't even put into words how hopeless I felt and how heartbroken I was. But you know what? God heard my cries. God restored my hope and my JOY and helped me to see that even in my darkest hour, He is always with me. It took about a week for me to process through everything and come to a place where I really felt like myself again, and in that time, I could clearly see and hear God speaking to me in ways I hadn't ever noticed before. I laugh about it now, but it felt like every time I got in the car, literally every song that came on the radio was JUST for me, reminding me that I am not alone and that there is healing in His hands!
It was shortly after this, that I called my doctor at Mayo Clinic to ask what next. Where do we go from here? And I was fully expecting her to say that all we had left were two BAD drug options, neither of which I was interested in. But you know what? She had another option in mind, and it was a prescription that she'd given me back when we were at Mayo the first time around, last August! She'd given it to me to keep as a last resort, because she wanted to try all these other things we've tried first. She told me to go ahead and try that medicine (which essentially stimulates my small intestine to work properly) and she also wanted me to come back to Mayo for a quick visit, to do a bit more testing to hopefully rule a couple more things out. She said that if these last few things didn't work, I might eventually need to consider a small bowel (intestine) transplant. She assured me that they in no way think I need a transplant now, but that it might be something I could need at some point down the road. Transplant was certainly not a word I expected to hear.....even in the "long way down the road" sense!
I started the new medicine and started feeling better almost immediately!!! We went back to Mayo for more testing and they were THRILLED with my progress! I met with several doctors and they were all so excited about how well I was feeling. My main doctor there (a motility specialist) even ended up getting teary with me, when we were leaving, because we were both just so excited that I was feeling well! I was happy for her, to have a patient who's been a really hard case that she could see some success in and she was so happy for me, to be feeling well! It was such a sweet doctor's appointment! (That's a sentence I never thought I'd be able to say! Ha!)
I was a little afraid to get my hopes up that it would last, because at that point, it had only been a week or so, that I'd been feeling well. But I am thrilled to report that I have been feeling great for nearly two months now!!!!!!!
I continue to take antibiotics daily in conjunction with this new medicine, but as long as I'm on both of them, I feel amazing! I can't even begin to express to you, how wonderful it is to be able to say that!!
It hasn't escaped my notice that from the time I truly cried out to God like I never had before, within three weeks I felt better. Don't get me wrong, I had been begging God to take all of this from me for a long time. More than a couple years! But at the point that I literally felt I had no hope left, it was then that I knew I could only rely on God. I had no other choice! And in that place of desperation, I realized that I had to learn how to be CONTENT no matter my circumstances. If my health never improved, I knew I needed to figure out how to still have hope and joy in my heart and mind! If things stayed the same for me physically, I needed to learn how to have peace and joy and the Lord totally restored both for me! Within three weeks of that time, of truly turning my whole situation over to God, He allowed me to begin feeling better! Hallelujah!!
It has been amazing to eat food and not be scared of it. It's been wonderful to eat things I haven't had in a couple of years because we thought I couldn't, only to find out that it was never the food that was the problem! It's felt a little like Christmas at meal times! ;)
It's been so great to wake up every morning and feel good....and to go about my work day feeling good....and to go to bed at night, feeling every bit as good as when I woke up! You have no idea how amazing that's been!
I was devastated when those IVig treatments got denied by the insurance company, but now I can see what a blessing that was!! God was working behind the scenes on my behalf! I couldn't see it at the time, but His hand was in the midst of all of that! He knew all along, that there was a medicine waiting for me that would help! He knew that I had the prescription right here in a stack of Mayo Clinic papers, just waiting to be filled. He was waiting for me to come to the end of what I thought were all of my "options", so that I'd finally -- completely -- rely on Him. Three short weeks later, I was doing SO much better. Praise God!
I hope that encourages you, dear ones....perhaps you're going through a struggle of your own and you're wondering when God will take this thing from you....when will He come to your rescue? He will, of that you can be assured! Rest in His promises and be encouraged that His timing is perfect! It's not our timing, that's for sure! I would have loved to have been done with all of this years ago. I would have loved it, if He would have just healed my body so I didn't even need the medicines at all. But He knew ultimately, what my heart needed, even more than what my body needed and I truly believe He was waiting for me to get to the place where I would put ALL of my trust in Him. Not just most of it. In the midst of the storm, when I was sick every single day, it felt like I was alone. I knew He was with me, but I couldn't always 'see' Him at work. But He was there and He was waiting for me to come to the end of 'me', so that I could totally rely on Him.
Thank you so much, to each of you who have checked on me and prayed for me and encouraged me through this storm! It's been a long road. A very long road! But it is SO wonderful to finally be making our way up out of the valley where we've been for the last couple of years.....to be headed toward the mountaintop. I praise God for the healing He's brought about in my body, through the use of medicine!! I praise God for the doctors He led me to at Mayo Clinic -- He used them to bring me to this place! I praise God for allowing me to feel GREAT again!! I am BEYOND GRATEFUL and I am SO EXCITED! It feels so good to feel so good!!!!! :)
Thank you so much for sharing in our joy, dear friends! We have been blessed beyond measure and it is wonderful to be able to share this happy news with you!
much, much love,