Thursday, January 6, 2011

moving into a new year...

I was at one of my favorite blogs the Reed life, and Shauna had an inspiring idea that we could bless each other by 'giving' of our own stories... I think we can really be helped by listening to other peoples stories. It's important not to feel alone in our struggles. We all have them. They vary from person to person - family to family. But, we all have them! Joining together, being this support team for each other, is awesome! I feel so blessed by getting to read, and getting to know other Christian women out here in the blogosphere. These women totally inspire me!


I haven't posted for a while, because well frankly, there has just been so much ugly going on in my life I just haven't wanted to even bring it here... to my place where i try and celebrate the beauty of my life. (I truly do have so much beauty in my life!) As beautiful as life is, the ugly parts of life have a way of creeping up on you. 2010, was a great year, and a very challenging year. As I enter into this brand new 2011 year, I am hoping that some of the hard things I've been going through will be over soon.

moving into a new year...

Where do I start to explain what I'm talking about...
Let's start here: Do you remember when I poured out my heart here to share with you that I have been living with fibromyalgia since I was 15 years old? I think I shared that I really wanted badly to get off of my medications. Sadly, that wasn't a good reality for me. After talking with my doctor, and even a fibromyalgia specialist, I was told to be grateful for having found a drug to help my pain, and to stop resisting it. I was told that my fibromyalgia will never go away, and the best that I can hope for as I grow older each year, is to not become disabled.

That was alot for me to swallow, but somehow through the support of my family and friends, and mostly my God, I came to feel some peace over the whole thing.

Unfortunately, that wasn't the ending to my medical woes. I was also dealing with terrible lower abdomen pain as well as very frequent urination (like 30+ times a day). After Matt and my anniversary trip I could no longer ignore my pain, as my bladder was now spasming. So, I went to my doctor where he treated me for a simple bladder (the third that year) infection, and sent me on my way. He told me to come back to see him if after my two weeks of heavy antibiotics didn't stop my symptoms. I'm sure by now, you see where this is heading... no the antibiotics didn't work, and he wasn't sure what else to do, so, he sent me on to my OBGYN. First she checked my IUD, it was fine. Next, I had ultrasounds of my pelvic region, where they found a cyst (nothing too big to worry over). Finally, I was tested in her office for something that before this whole experience I had never even heard of... Interstitial Cystitis. My doctor found through that testing, that I did in fact have IC, and that it was now up to me to make a decision.... My decision along with hers was pretty aggressive, in hopes to get on top of this insane pain I've been experiencing. I had surgery this Tuesday, as well as some laproscopy (to check for more cysts, and condition of the bladder).

The most frustrating thing about this IC, is that it almost perfectly mirrors fibromyalgia. In fact people that have fibro are much more likely to develop IC. It is thought to be an autoimmune disorder, where your brain is sending pain signals to parts of your body they shouldn't. Over time, these pain signals get worse, and worse, and worse. The surgery I had is only a temporary fix, she said it can only last about 6 months... the medication for this IC, takes 6-12 months to take affect, so I am praying the combination of the two will bring relief to my tired body.

I feel so absolutely defeated inside, living with these diseases. I feel like people around me think I'm some kind of hypochondriac, but I'm not. I would give any earthy possession I could to be me...... to just feel like me! To not have pain so severe it changes my spirit. I would, I really would! In fact, I will be damned to let these things defeat me. I may feel sad sometimes about it, even frustrated, and mad, but, I will find a way to live a joyful life in spite of these challenges I face!

I am trying to stay positive, and realize that it could be worse. I try to acknowledge and give thanks for the blessings that pour out upon me, but there are days, and weeks (sometimes) where it all makes me feel so sad. But, I am realizing that that's okay. Feeling things all the way can be healing. Not hiding them, but releasing them out, so they don't fester inside!

I don't want to live my life with the restrictions I have to, but that's my reality!
I don't want to take medicine everyday for the rest of my life, but I have to!
I don't like that i have more of these kind of posts to share with you, than the happy ones...

But here's the deal...
(I told this to Matt on Tuesday right before I went into the operating room, when he asked if I was nervous...)

I said simply this:
I'm not afraid, cause I know who's got my back.
God is my Homey!
He's my friend.


...and that's the truth friends, and with that in our hearts we can get through anything!

There is a reason for this suffering.
There is a purpose.
There is a lesson, and a humility being given to me, a gift even, I just can't see them yet.

Maybe in being transparent, and open about these afflictions that I'm going through, I too can 'GIVE' to someone else. Maybe there is someone else out there feeling defeated. Here's my advise; it's okay to be sad, it's okay to get mad, it's even okay to let it all out and have a good cry, but always remember to go to God in prayer with it. He is the only way, the only truth, and the only light, in these dark times! For if we don't praise him in our bleak, hard times, how will he ever bless us in our good times?

Thanks for letting me share this journey!
Please keep me in your prayers...
even more please keep my family in your prayers, I think it's even harder on them!

To be honest, that is only part of why 2010 has been hard... but for now, let's leave it there, shall we??? Maybe the rest will be better to share another day! Thanks for letting me talk blog peeps!

7 comments:

Shauna at The Reed Life said...

mandy,
thank you for sharing this.
this is brave.
opening yourself up to the world.
i am amazed by your courage.
and inspired by your determination.
thank you, thank you, thank you!
praise the Lord who has brought you to this day and will not leave your side!

Shelley said...

Mandy,
Your story blesses me. 3 months ago I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, but I am stubborn and after working in surgery with open hearts for 7 years, I am also a very bad patient. Not one day goes by that I am not in some type of pain..i need not list all of the ailments as you know them and experience them too. Last month was the very worst of all, yet the Lord really opened up my eyes. We have heard that trials are blessings, well I have decided that I love my trials. I see them as the Lord doing all He can to keep me close to Him. When life is going good we all seem to read the Word a little less, pray a little less, and fellowship a little less. I am joyous to say that the Lord keeps me close...in his arms...on his lap, by allowing me to suffer in these trials with my health. I have decided to embrace my pain and draw even closer to HIM.

Chrissie Grace said...

Hi Mandy
I'm coming over from Shauna's.
We all have our struggles and trials, don't we? You are dealing with yours beautifully. Thanks so much for sharing your story. I pray for relief from your pain.

Bella Rose said...

Thanks for the sweet comments ladies! @Shauna, I love your blog, I read it everyday. Thank you for your kind words, and your great inspiration for this post! @Shelley, I am so glad that my story can help you even just a little, if you EVER need someone to talk with about this journey you are starting, feel free to email me anytime, I would be so glad to talk! @Chrissie Grace, I'm glad you came by for a visit!!! I hope each one of you has a blessed day!

Live a Unique Life said...

If you would allow me to comment although I am a stranger (and yet a sister in Christ and Shauna Reeds sister:)I think its so amazing...your story. It immediatley brought to mind the book Im reading "The sacred Romance" Which I would totally encourage you to get! Particularly Chapter 5. It talks about the wilderness of difficulties that God allows into the lives of those who love Him. And the story of Job is also mentioned and I think it is much like you're story. The devil himself challenged God that 'Job fears God only because you have put a hedge around him and because you bless the work of his hands.' But God believed in Jobs faith so much that he allowed Satan to take away everything he had....to eventually strike him with sores so unbearablely painful from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. As his friends mourned for his devestated life and his own wife encouraged him to curse God and die, Job replies "You are speaking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?"

Can you imagine the faith that God has in you! To allow you to play such a vital role in this larger story of good against evil! Like the book quotes: "Every human being is of great significance to God, but those whom God has drawn to believe in Him are center stage in a drama of cosmic proportions!" Take heart! He has faith in you! And you're gonna crush satans head like the filthy snake that he is as you never give up and as you fight this important battle of your life bringing all the glory to God!

Blessings on you and youre family in 2011!

Myya said...

To keep a positive attitude and still deal with the every day woes of how your body is feeling makes you WonderWomen in my eyes!!! You & your family will most definitely be in my prayers each night.

PaisleyJade said...

Just discovered yout blog - sorry to hear about your trials... yet so glad God brings beauty out of anything and everything. xoxo