Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!






Friday, November 16, 2012

Hope...

Today, I have started to see some improvement.  The swelling in my ankle has gone down some more and I am able to wear regular shoes...not just crocs. :) I seem to have a bit more energy today, but do tire easily when doing things. I think it's just a matter of time before I get all my energy back and do the things I usually do. My heart issues are good today, but were not yesterday. I know holistic meds take more time than regular ones. But, I also know that there are going to be good days and bad days with my heart issues whether I was on regular meds or on herbal ones...

Tonight, we go to our friends visitation. I am glad he is no longer suffering, but will miss him a lot. Keep the family in your prayers...



Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Rejoicing in sorrow...

The father of our pastor friend passed away today. His suffering is over.  He was such a kind man and I am blessed to have known him. He will be greatly missed by many.  I will not forget the kind words he spoke to me the other day. Words can have a lasting impact.

So to that I want to tell my dad you are missed. I wish things were different and I could speak to you and glean wisdom from your words. I wish I knew somehow if you were proud of who I am becoming. I hope you are well. Know that you are still loved even after all this time...I will imagine in my mind that you feel the same as that is all I can do.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Lessons...

Something I've learned and I will try to put into words...
I've learned that me and my body and all it's broken parts, pain, disappointments, etc is just speck in the big picture of this world. It really means absolutely nothing. I'm just a tiny part of this world and what goes on with my body is contained to what's right in front of me. What really matters is not me or what is wrong with my body, but the world, the relationships to be had, mission work to be done, people who need to hear the Word, and love that needs to be spread.

Everything that goes on in my body (or doesn't) is just my package. I carry my package with me everywhere I go and it humbles me, but I have learned to not open that package anymore. But, instead to just carry it with me and continue on with life and to do His will however possible and however He equips me to do it. Everyone has a package they carry. These things just happen to be mine. God has given me such strength and desire to do missions, a loss of self, and a sense to help others in any way I can. I believe it will be mostly through education. And you see, you don't need a wonderful physical body to educate people ;)

Sigh...I hope that made sense. It makes sense in my heart and spirit, but not sure it comes across clear :)




Thursday, November 8, 2012

Doctors...

My Rheumatologist looked so sad and said he felt helpless as a doctor. There is nothing we can do for the RA, but manage the pain. I told him I was going to take a holistic approach and he said he hopes that it will help. The main concern is chronic inflammation from the RA leads to heart disease and cancer and people with RA are at a much higher risk and especially when they can't be treated with the normal meds. It's all in God's hands anyway. :)

My cardiologist feels the same way. The previous thing we just tried did not work out and caused me to feel worse and then get migraines on top of it. So he agreed to my holistic protocol and we will try it for a month and pray it works. He feels helpless that he can't do more for my condition. 

I know I serve the master Physician and I am trusting that He knows what He is doing and I will find comfort in that. God has taught me so much through all my health issues. I still have much to learn. I hope to be used by Him in some way. I hope to be strong enough after I graduate to someday use my holistic knowledge on the mission field. I love to educate people about food, what it does for our body, and how people can eat for health. I want to be able to teach on the mission field how people can properly feed their children the nutrients they are missing and what foods in their culture have those particular nutrients. Also would love to teach them on what plants are good for medicine when conventional medicine may not be available. That is my dream anyway...And yes, there is a day...hallelujah.

2 Cor 4:17


Saturday, November 3, 2012

It's hard...

watching someone you care about in their last stages of this life...One of our good friends, Rich, is dying. He is the dad of one of our pastors and friend. We went to see him today and it's hard to see him in so much pain and confused at times. There just seems to be a lot of heartache lately.  I would be crushed under the weight of life if it weren't for God. He is what keeps me standing.

At the end of our visit today, I hugged Rich and told him I loved him. This is what he said to me. "I love you, too, Stephanie. You have such a sweet heart. Don't ever lose your sweet heart." I told him I sure would try not to.

His words were an answer to prayer. My diseases can get the better of me at times. I feel in my heart that I have become a little bitter inside and that can come out at times as grouchiness or frustration. There are times where I wonder if I still had any sweetness in me. I have been praying that God would help me to not become a bitter person with my circumstances and what seems to be a never ending battle with pain and health issues. I never wanted my diseases to dictate my attitude or who I was...

I believe there is still sweetness in me and I am determined to let that show more and more. It seems my sweetness has an impact on others that I was not aware of. It was wonderful and refreshing for Rich to say that to me and for me to have had a sweet impact on his life. I want to lay down what bitterness I do have and let more of my sweetness show. For His sake...

I continue to covet your prayers for my health as I am not all better. I can walk around the house now, but not very well and the swelling and pain are still intense. My heart condition has not improved yet either. Hoping for something better there soon. Pray for me to have patience and a sweet spirit despite this awfulness right now. But, most important, pray for Rich and his family. Pray his pain will be controlled and even gone and that his family will be comforted and soothed during this time. It's a hard thing to lose a loved one...believe me, I know...

Thank you for your faithfulness...



Thursday, November 1, 2012

Not a fun day...and an update



I spent my birthday yesterday at the hospital. My rheumatologist thought my flare turned into a septic joint infection. Arthrocentesis hurts. :( BUT, praising the Lord that I DO NOT have an infection in my joint. The doc said I am having a severe flare of my rheumatoid arthritis. I got to take home some Toradol and hoping that continues to bring relief until this flare dissipates. I still can't walk without extreme pain and limping, but think I should be able to soon.

Feeling a little better today with the toradol. Very sore though all over from shaking so bad from the pain of the arthrocentesis.
I also learned that all we can do for my RA is manage the pain. So I am going to try to manage my inflammation naturally with heavy antioxidants and such. Thanks for all the prayers the last few weeks.




Cardiologist update: I do have a condition called POTS with cerebral hypoperfusion. With this condition, my heart rate is running 110-150's constantly. It can be treated with meds which I will start today. I have to check back in a week to see if it's better on these meds and if not we will try something else. This condition explains a lot and I'm happy to be able to get on the road of treating it.



Monday, October 29, 2012

He's home

My husband made it home from Haiti yesterday morning about 4 am. He worked really hard there and was able to build a whole roof (with trusses) along with other things like hauling rock and concrete work. They did experience a little of Sandy, but everyone was safe. They had to deal with A LOT of mud and sewage. He said there were a lot more nude children this trip. He learned a lot about leadership and was a great asset to the team.
He is now looking forward to going to the Dominican Republic with our son Hunter in February. I will stay home.
Please continue to pray for me. I am still in excruciating pain with my arthritis and nothing seems to alleviate it. I was really hoping to be better for when he returned home. I have been in my wheelchair more than I'd like. I'm doing everything I can to get my body's inflammation under control. The rest is up to God.



Saturday, October 27, 2012

On a positive note...

My son went to a homeschool "homecoming" last night. He went with a girl from church as friends. They were both adorable. They had a really good time. I was really proud of Hunter for getting out on the dance floor and even the stage and dancing. They were both uncomfortable with slow dancing so they just fast danced. I was really impressed. When I was in high school, I mostly ended up sitting at the table until I got so tired and slap happy that I may have danced a little bit. He was a gentleman and I'm proud of him.  Here are some pics...






After having such an awful morning of pain, this helped take some of that away...he is growing up so fast. He is already taller than me!




Friday, October 26, 2012

Haiti...

Please pray that my husband will be able to return home to me on schedule. Hurricane Sandy was/is in Haiti and it has been raining non-stop.  We haven't been able to have much communication because of that.

Also, please continue to pray for me. I have been awake since 2am with excruciating pain. It's horrific pain. I don't know how much more I can take. It's just too much, even for me. :'( Pain meds are barely taking the edge off and I feel like I just can't get a handle on the pain. My ankle is still red, swollen, hot, and painful. RA is no Fun.At.All. I get faint and nauseous from the pain. I just want it to end, dear God.

Discouraged...



Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tests...

I went in today for my heart test. It was awful. Tears were involved. :'( It would not have been as bad, but my RA is so bad right now I can hardly walk. I had to have a stress echo so I had to walk the treadmill. During the test I had an "episode" where my heart rate went from 100 to 120's. When I came in my heart rate was running in the 130's.  But, the bad part was that I had to get right back on the bed within seconds so the echo tech could get more pictures. I wasn't as quick as I should have been and was grabbed and put on the bed fast. In the process, my ankle was yanked and my legs were pulled and it hurt so bad I came to tears to the nurse's regret. She felt bad. Needless to say, I'm exhausted. I also had to come home with a Holter monitor and already had some episodes on it. I won't get results until Nov 1st when I go back to the doc. I've also got rib pain (costochondritis) from the RA which makes it hard to not be in pain when I take a breath. I just want this to end so I can feel better. I'm not sure what route the cardiologist will take as he wanted to put me on heart meds, but he can't because of my myasthenia gravis. So hopefully it's something that just comes and goes and when it comes I just need to rest up until the inflammation goes down.

Prayers appreciated. Discouraged, but not destroyed...



Sunday, October 21, 2012

Flowers...



 My husband had these sent to me while he is in Haiti. He was there for anniversary (still is). They are my favorite...wildflowers. :) I love them! It makes these medical issues more bearable :)