There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, no more fears…
It’s almost 7:00 pm and I have actually been up and moving since the other 7:00 today. Yet, I didn’t fit in a work out. I haven’t blogged. I haven’t even watched any junk TV.
What did I do? Well, I drove across town for an oil change — but I had the wrong time, so I had to reschedule. I salvaged that trip by going through the car wash. I came home and mixed up some gluten-free/dairy-free coconut-banana muffins. I sampled one before half of them were sent to my husband’s coworkers. I got Starbucks. I read about forty pages in a book I am editing. I grabbed a quick snack before driving across town again for an appointment. Three hours later I drove back home. I made some baked swai and tried a new recipe for quinoa with kale, then shared both with my husband, along with a couple of the muffins from earlier in the day.
And what did this out-of-the-ordinary day yield for me? Some good food, that is to be sure, some movement on my editing project, yes, and possibly, just maybe, a little shred of hope.
My appointment was with a doctor who practices integrative medicine. Prior to going I had to submit my whole health record including lab reports, family history, a food diary, and list of medications. I also had to physically carry in all of the medications and supplements that I currently take. The nurse did the usual measurements — weight, height, blood pressure, and temperature and then left me to wait for the doctor.
As I sat there waiting, utter fatigue flooded over me. I could feel two years’ worth of frustration pushing up through me and trying to force its way out of my eyes. Why did I think this doctor appointment would be any different? Why did I think this doctor would have any answers, any solutions, or even any far-fetched schemes that might help me feel less-tired, less achey, less pathetic?
By the time she walked in almost twenty minutes later, I was feeling a bit defensive. My answers to her first two questions ended up sounding a bit sharp, so I paused and said, “I’m sorry. I am tired. I’m tired of feeling sick and tired. And doctors’ visits are very stressful.” When she answered, “I’m sure they are stressful,” the tears threatened to spill over, but I checked them. I took a deep breath and tried to answer as honestly and politely as I could for the next hour. Yes, hour.
“Do you have any pain-free days?” she asked.
“Well, let’s start there. Let’s see if we can get you a pain-free day.”
Seriously? Pain-free? I think she believes she can do it! It’s going to take some work on my part. But, what have I got to lose, besides some pain, right?
So, we started today with more blood work. Ho-hum. She changed the dosage on some of my supplements and removed some of the others. Tomorrow I will do a ‘saliva test’. Then comes the hard stuff.
I agreed to do an ‘ultra simple diet’ for seven days. It involves lots of veggies, rice, broth, and some shake mix stuff. And it excludes almost all caffeine, alcohol, sugar, and virtually everything that isn’t veggies, rice, broth, and shake mix stuff.
Yes, I am agreeing to go off caffeine….except for green tea — bleh! — for seven days. I am warning you now so that you can steer clear of Ann Arbor, spend extra time in prayer, and read my posts with compassion.
I’ll be cleansing my body of all kinds of toxins, she says. I’ll be creating a blank slate, she says. We’ll be able to know more then, she says.
I looked at the instructions for the ‘Ultra Simple Diet’ for a long time. It doesn’t look like much fun at all. But I kept hearing her words in my head, “pain-free day, pain-free day, pain-free day…” She thinks it can happen. No medical professional has dared hope with me for that in two years.
If I don’t try, I won’t know.
So, I bought the liver cleanse, the probiotics, and the shake mix stuff. I’ve gotta go to the grocery store to get the specific veggies, fresh herbs, and organic whatevers I am going to need. And I’ve gotta take two days, at least, to wean myself off caffeine.
This could get ugly, folks. Good thing I re-committed to prayer a couple of weeks ago; I think it’s gonna be a requirement.
Ultimately I know that God can give me pain-free days whenever He chooses, with or without an ‘ultra simple diet’. So far, He has provided emotional and lifestyle healing through this illness. I am not sorry about any of that. I don’t want to go back to being a soldier kicking butts and taking names. And, the only reason I stopped being a soldier was because I could no longer physically keep at it. I crashed. And burned. And limped. And moaned.
I am moving slowly and intentionally now because that is all I can do. If I am physically healed, will I continue at this pace? Or will I go back to soldiering? Is two years long enough for me to learn this lesson?
I don’t know any of those answers.
I want to be still and know that He is God. I want to use my gifts to His glory. I want to rest in the palm of His hand.
I have a pastor-friend who prays each morning that my illness will be completely reversed. He tells me this every time I see him. I tell him that not all healing is physical, and that God is blessing me through this illness. But guys, he is an eighty-year-old pastor and he is praying for me every morning.
I do want physical healing, if God has it for me. I also want to be content with whatever He gives me. I want to hold on to the lessons I have learned in the last two years and continue to learn more. So, I’m gonna give this doctor’s plan a try, and at the same time, pray to the Great Physician that my healing will be complete. I know it will be one day, perhaps even on this earth.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other
so that you may be healed.
The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.