Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Cat-Out-of-the-Bag Time.

Okay.  So...

Those of you who know me best (or who don't know me at all, but have been following the blog long enough to observe a trend) know that when I'm not feeling well, I stop blogging.  Not in the form of a sputtering slow down.  Nope, I come to a screeching halt.


Partly because, being an All or Nothing kind of person, when I feel yuck...I feel YUCK.  With a capital Gross.  Just keeping up with my little Energy Bunny of a child and getting out of my jammies is an ambitious exercise in You-Can-Do-It, Kristy!  During times such as these, it's pretty much all I can do to just get from point A to point B.  (A being "getting out of bed in the morning" and B being "getting back into it at the end of the day".)

And partly because I'm one of those people who is a weird combo of:  Bare-My-Soul and Locked-Down- Tighter-Than-Fort-Knox.  When it comes to medical stuff, or more accurately MY medical stuff, I fall into the second category.   I don't know what my deal is.  ...Well, actually, I do.  I don't want to seem pathetic, or weak, or needy, or crazy, or annoying, or...the list of unflattering adjectives goes on and on.

But recently it occurred to me that's it kind of hard to ask people to pray for you when they have absolutely no clue what's going on.  And I've reached the point where my desire to feel better is greater than my desire to not look like an idiot. 

Most of you know the past several years haven't been easy for me - medically-speaking.  I go through these debilitating flare-ups, which can last from several weeks to several months (fatigue, nausea, weakness, balance problems, headaches).  I've been tested out the wazoo (including a not so cheap trip to Mayo), which contributes to the whole feeling-like-an-idiot sentiment, as well as to the don't-want-to-talk-about-it mentality.  On the one hand, I'm thrilled they haven't found anything significant yet.  But on the other, until they determine the source of my symptoms, it's pretty darn hard to treat them.

Lately (as in:  for the past several months), I've been dealing with overwhelming nausea, abdominal pain, gastric "unpleasantries" (for the sake of all, I refrain from going into detail) and retching.  Spontaneous retching, to be more specific.  (Which, in case the "spontaneity" part of things makes it sound all festive and fun, let me tell you, it isn't.)  The trashcan and I have been close buddies throughout the day, but mornings and in the middle of the night have been especially hard.  When my stomach is empty, the pain and nausea are just excruciating.  The gnawing and burning, despite being on Prevacid, are just agonizing.  I keep crackers beside the bed, for when I wake up feeling like I'm going to yack.  (For those of you wondering if Russ enjoys the sound of Saltines at 3 a.m., oh, yes indeedy, he surely does!  That and rolling over into crumbs give him a special kind of thrill.)

Let's just say we are giving our vows a work-out.

The good part of all of this is that I've figured out something about myself.  Something pretty major, in fact.

I struggle with fear.

(*Those of you who know me best, please pause for a respectful "Really?")

It's definitely my besetting sin.  Especially when it comes to illness. I remember as a child being so afraid of getting sick.  If someone in the family caught a stomach virus, they were all but dead to me.  I'd barricade myself in my room or set up camp at a friend's house until my mom had time to thoroughly disinfect all of the bathrooms and everything else Sickie had come into contact with.  It's a super neat trait that is pretty much in direct opposition to my spiritual gift of helpfulness.  I've always enjoyed helping others who are down - making them feel better, getting them back to a place of "well".  But when it comes to a "catchable" illness, nuh uh, buddy, you're on your own! It's funny, I've never really been a germ-a-phobe (in the classic Howard Hughes sense - I don't scrub my hands raw, I don't obsessively clean, I don't carry hand sanitizer in a holster on my shorts); I've always been more a sickness-a-phobe.

I've never wanted to get sick.  I spent LOTS 'o effort trying to avoid getting sick.  ...And here I am:  sick.

Clearly, God has a sense of humor. 

Actually, I know that's not true.  I mean, I know He's not laughing at me.  I know He cares for me.  But I also know that He wants those who claim to trust in Him to practice what they preach.  And I know that He sometimes uses unpleasant circumstances to draw His children back into fellowship with Him.  Here is where I pause to shout, "Thank you, Lord, for the valuable lesson!  May I please stop learning now?!"  Hee.

For the first time in my life, I've really been trying to actively deal with my fear.  It isn't easy.  I'm in the middle of being tested for some conditions that I really don't want to have.  Conditions that are hard to diagnose, that can lie dormant for many years - until they become "bad" enough to detect.   Conditions that...eeee.  Ain't good.  But beyond that, now is the fear - not of what they will find (as scary as that potentially is), but that they won't ever figure this mess out, and I'll be stuck feeling like this forever.  In combination with the almost-constant pain and nausea, it's hard to feel like I ever "get away" from my fear. 

I'm trying to refocus my thinking.  To, even in the midst of the symptoms, redirect my thoughts to my Heavenly Father.  To spend time in His Word, reading Scripture and praying.  To be able to find joy, in Him, even when my physical state prevents me from feeling happy.

It's really hard for me to openly admit this about myself.  (Understatement.)  I'd so much rather just bask in the compliments of the last post - where you guys showered me with praise about my strength and faith in the midst of trial.  I'd much rather just be That Girl, and never show you This Girl.  Confessing that I'm not strong...that my faith is often weak...that my happiness is often wrapped up in my circumstances...that I'm still such a baby Christian when it comes to facing adversity the way our Heavenly Father wants his children to...well, it's pretty ugly and humbling.

But I feel like it's what God wants me to do.

To reach out to fellow believers in a genuine and honest way, even if it means looking like a weak little toadie.

Specifically, I ask if you would pray for two things:

(1.)  For wisdom for the doctors in determining what is causing my symptoms, for clear answers in the tests, and for complete healing and renewed strength.

(2.)  For a peace that surpasses my understanding and a calming of my fears, regardless of my circumstances.

Thank you, my friends.  :-)

P.S.  In perkier news:  I found out today that I'm one of the five finalists for Nickelodeon's Parents Connect Best Parenting Blog.  Woo!  Come on lifetime supply of Toot and Puddle toothpaste!!  (Voting ends Sept. 1st, and you can vote daily if you'd like.  Thanks, bloggy faithful 'o mine!)

Nominated for best parenting blog. Vote now!


bethany actually said...

Oh, Kristy. I'm sorry you've been having such a sucky time of it! I know what you mean about it being so hard to ask for prayers when you need them. I never want to be That Girl either.

Are you familiar with Steven Curtis Chapman's music? I love his song, "His Strength is Perfect" and often find myself humming or singing it when I'm feeling weak:

I can do all things
Through Christ who gives me strength,
But sometimes I wonder what He can do through me
No great success to show, No glory on my own
Yet in my weakness He is there to let me know

His strength is perfect when our strength is gone;
He’ll carry us when we can’t carry on.
Raised in His power, the weak become strong;
His strength is perfect, His strength is perfect.

We can only know
The power that He holds
When we truly see how deep our weakness goes;
His strength in us begins
Where ours comes to an end.
He hears our humble cry and proves again

His strength is perfect when our strength is gone;
He’ll carry us when we can’t carry on.
Raised in His power, the weak become strong;
His strength is perfect, His strength is perfect.

Consider yourself prayed for! :-)

alicia said...

courage: noun
*the ability to do something that frightens one
*strength in the face of pain or grief

it implies not only bravery and a dauntless spirit but the ability to endure in times of adversity.

you're stronger than you think.

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you, Kristy. Keep busy, have a project. It's tough, I know.Hope it improves soon! Sally x

Juanice said...

Kristy, don't beat yourself up. Remember that Jesus asked that "the cup be taken from Him". Rely on His strength and don't be ashamed of your fear.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how God works...He put you on my heart this morning and I've been praying for you throughout the dad.
I have dealt with some serious fear issues myself (not sickness related, but still FEAR) in the past couple of years and found great comfort in making a little journal of verses about fear and how the Lord watches over us and has us in His hands. When I find that journal in one of our boxes, I'll be sure to pass along the verses. It helped me to read them over and over and really meditate on them and pray through them.
I'll keep praying for you. Thank you for sharing this with us. We love you no matter which "girl" you are. =)
Love Love,

Anonymous said...

Praying for wisdom for the doctors, and healing and for you!


Anonymous said...

Praying for you, the doctors, and your family throughout this ordeal...just keep remembering that old saying that God will never put you through more than you can handle, and you'll come out of this knowing what a tough chic you really are!! :)


Anonymous said...

Have you tried Ginger capsules? They might help. I don't like Ginger, but the capsules you just swallow. I had similar nausea/pains after two bouts with stomach bug and then a miscarriage. They did many tests and finally called it IBS. I think they tell you that when they can't find anything else, which on the one hand is good. Unfortunately there is seemingly no cure for it. I sure hope they figure out what is going on and that you feel better soon. Hang in there!!!!


Anonymous said...

I am so sorry you are going through such a tough time. Know that we will be praying for you. I sure wish I lived close enough to just drop by and pick up Sophie for some play time!!!

Anonymous said...


Just read your most recent blog post...and I'm adding you to my prayer list. God has used you to bring so much laughter into my life. I figure Proverbs 11:25 is what I'm going pray. "He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed." You "refresh" others so frequently with your sharing from your life...I pray He gives you an overflowing dose of refreshment. Peppermint flavored. (Unless you don't like which case, you can have any flavor you want.)

While we're being honest, I woke up after an uncharacteristically bad night of sleeping, feeling uncharacteristically like a chemo patient, and logged onto facebook to consider a tiny whine. When I read your post, I was shocked to see how much physical awfulness you've been going through. But even in your honesty about your sickness, you projected sunbeams onto people through the computer screen! :o)

Thanks for sharing. I'll be praying.


Heidi said...

You are at the top of my prayer list.

Nancy said...

Hang in there Kristy. I'll be praying too.

Ellen said...

Hey, Kristy. I came to pay you a visit. Man, I am sorry for what you are going through, but I am glad you took that fear by the horns and you're getting yourself checked out. I will add you to my prayers.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing your struggles. I, too, struggle with fear and have since childhood. Would you believe the reason I don't like to fly is the fear that I will get sick on the plane. Not DIE mind you, but get sick. Like getting sick on an airplane actually tops dying on my list of fears. Messed up, I know. :-)

Praying for you for peace and for healing. We serve the Great Physician and I pray that He will speak and work through the doctors you are seeing.

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