June Thoughts On Chronic Illness
Searching, Hoping, Traumatizing, Honoring, Responding are the June prompts that I’ll be sharing about today. Living with Chronic Illnesses means that I’m chronically ill 24/7 and this altered life is always a part of my thoughts. Since I’ve been going through one flare after another during this Spring, I hope that the Summer will bring a little rest.
Sharing the prompts through A Chronic Voice blog is a great part of each month. Writing together with other bloggers who are living in pain is encouraging. We all have different health conditions, but we can all relate to the way chronic illnesses affect our lives.
The last week or so has been filled with sorrow, grief, anger, and other emotions. Our country and world are in turmoil. My emotions have been high and I am filled with worry. To see injustice in our world makes me cry out inside to find a solution. There is no easy solution, but I’m ready to do my part to fight racism.
My blog is not political, but freedom and equality are not political. All humans have worth, and are created by God. No one is unequal in His eyes. I will stand with the word of God.
I’ve been searching for answers lately for my health problems. My medicines are certainly not helping. I’ve been in a Mast Cell flare for far too long. I actually had an in-patient appointment yesterday because of huge red spots on my torso and legs. Constant allergic reactions have worn me down. Living on Benadryl has made me terribly groggy. Thankfully, the doctor prescribed a week-long prednisone pack. I pray that it will work quickly.
She mentioned that I may need to start Zolair injections and immunosuppressants for my auto-immune illness. In addition to Sjogren’s Syndrome, she believes that I have Psoriasis. I agree with this. It makes me more wary of transferring to a doctor who treats naturally. It’s so confusing.
Having Chronic Illness means that we have tons of medical records. If you want to keep track of all of your symptoms, appointments, and more: Check out my new Medical Binder. It will help to make life a little easier.
I keep hoping that something will make me better. Hope is powerful. God tells us to hope and trust Him. I do trust Him, but it is so hard to remain hopeful and positive when nothing seems to relieve my pain and suffering. I often feel that I’ve been called to suffer. Christians will know what I’m talking about. It just means that there is a purpose to suffering and that God will use my misery to help someone else.
I feel peace in that calling, but still don’t want to suffer needlessly. That’s why I use medication and seek to find better treatments. Feeling better would enable me to be a better mother, grandmother, and wife.
I have dealt with trauma in my life. Trauma is relative. The trauma that has affected me in my adult life has been brought on by chronic illness. Losing three pregnancies because of Mast Cell disease caused me much trauma. Looking back on it, it seems that I had PTSD. There were all the stages of grief to live through (three times). At the end of that time, I can see that I learned a lot of empathy. Thankfully, God healed my heart after years of pain.
Medical trauma is hard to get through because physical symptoms take us back to the traumatic times when we suffered. It leaves us with emotional scars. These are much worse than the physical scars we live with. Going to doctors who don’t listen is also very traumatic. Over the years before I began to get diagnosed, my real medical issues were ignored and even dismissed.
Instead of tests being offered, I was told that I needed an anti-depressant or just to get more exercise. I was told that women just can’t handle stress and that I needed to relax. My symptoms of chronic migraine, back pain, neck pain, neuropathy, and more were attributed to stress. It’s inexcusable to be told such a lie.
During the Covid 19 pandemic, I feel that honoring our doctors, nurses, therapists, and all hospital staff is very important. There are many of these people in every city and family. Many have lost their lives serving the sick. The patients with this horrible illness have had to be hospitalized without any presence of their family members.
Medical professionals have had to be family as well as practitioner. My child works on a Covid floor and treats these patients with love and acts of kindness. She serves them and is there to also provide comfort. As an Occupational Therapist, she is able to help them fight the disease. I honor her and all like her.
We should all respond with selfless compassion to the medical crisis in our world. We should not think only of ourselves, but think of how we could help to save lives. Whether we are young, old, sick, or healthy, doing our small part to keep people around us well is an easy task.
Because of my high risk body, I’ve only left my home once in the last three months. Unfortunately, sheltering is the wise thing for me to do. I don’t know when I’ll be able to see my children and grandchild again. Responding with caution and mutual respect is the right thing to do.
I hope and pray for us all. Living with chronic illness is a minute-by-minute challenge. Constant reminders help me to focus on proper priorities. In my life, my priorities bring me to put my relationship with God first. No matter what I go through on earth, I know that He is with me and loves me.
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. Ps 91:1-2
@2020, copyright Lisa Ehrman