Another year is coming to an end. Wow. This one has been a doozy. Full of fun and learning, change and scars. Many scars. Thankful to my Shepherd for bringing me through this year. I’m enjoying the holidays in AZ and am going home to start the year finding a new place to live while trying to manage my diseases. I’m thankful for how God has provided for me this year and know he will provide for my needs next year even though I have no idea how I will find a place and no idea if my current treatment will work. I suppose that is the joy of following Christ. I don’t need to know all the details. I can walk in faith and obedience and trust Him to provide. It will be a year full of surprises! To God be the Glory!
Today may be painful. For me it is. It might be filled with unknowns and sadness, or happiness and thrill. This is the day the Lord has made and I will be glad in it. I will rejoice in the promises of scripture. I will consider it joy to live out my trials as a constant reminder for my need for the Good Shepherd. I will let him break my leg so I must be carried close. I pray I am becoming a bell sheep so he may use me to keep other sheep close to Him. I must be bold in proclaiming the goodness of my Shepherd and my sole sight set on Him. He is both my refuge for rest and my Rock of strength. Surely physical and emotional pain is not too much for the Shepherd. He uses it for His glory. If I was physically and emotionally independent and strong I would have no need for the Shepherd. I pray I only listen to his voice and to not be distracted by voices calling for me that are not His. They will only lead me, and others, astray. Lord, may your peace and joy overcome me tonight. No matter what tomorrow brings, I smile with anticipation because I know the day will be from you.
-My nephew who is 4 knows how to write all his letters. Today his spelling word was “Katie” and it was the best version of my name ever written.
-I really enjoy my job.
-I love my church.
-friends who care for me and put up with me.
-better from whatever sickness I had last week.
-my fun family
-Fall in Michigan
-learning dependence on the Shepherd even tho I’m a dumb sheep a lot of the time
As I reflect on my day, I have been thinking about how I am feeling. I keep coming back to the conclusion my feelings are fickle. I can’t rely on them both emotionally and physically. Each day, I have no idea how I am going to feel physically. Will I be in pain? Will I be exhausted? Will I have energy to get a good hike and work out in? Will I be nauseous? Will I feel like a 30 year old or more like my 90 year old roommate? I never really know. Then there is the emotional side. Having several chronic illnesses sometimes makes me panic. And sometimes I panic because I have panic disorder and I don’t know why my body panics. And sometimes I get overwhelmed with simple every day stuff. And then I feel great, and happy and ready for whatever happens. My mind plays tricks on me. My thoughts can get out of control. And I remember, again, I can’t trust my feelings.
I’m so glad the Shepherd cares about my feelings, even though they aren’t always based on Truth. He gently listens to and knows my needs. He wants me to express myself to Him and cry out to Him no matter how I am feeling. He loves me and knows me. However, when my feelings, either emotionally or physically, get too much to bear and I lose focus on the Shepherd, I must rely on what I know and not how I feel. I know what I know is true. What I know is God’s Word is true, His promises are true and His character can’t change. If my body hurts a lot, it doesn’t mean the Shepherd has left me. If my mind and body panic and feels out of control, it doesn’t mean the Shepherd is chaotic and lacks order. I have to continually focus my mind and spirit on what the Shepherd tells me in the Bible. I have to be in constant communication with Him. Having people praying for me and reminding me of His truths is crucial.
So, I’m constantly learning and stumbling trying to rely on myself instead of the Shepherd. But, I am a sheep and we literally need our shepherds to survive, whether we realize it or not.
Oh my! My thirtieth birthday starts in about 30 minutes. Wow. Dont know how I feel. But I’m glad the Shepherd has carried me thru severe sicknesses, singleness, TWO surgeries, and many other health, financial, and relationship crisis’s. Thank you Lord for my new church family who have already brought me in to love on me. I’m beyond happy. It brings me anxiety but a pastor said, Katie, God has you where he wants you. I’m glad it’s with us. Praise Him. Lots of struggle and hurt this year. My wish for this year is no matter what comes next with my health I will be brave and give all my worries and fears to the Lord. He is my Hope and Father. source of life and love. I will be glad going into my thirties being active instead of having to rest and be isolated from so much pain. I pray if my pain comes back in year 30 I will graciously trust God will use my pain for him and not let me get bitterly isolated. In year thirty I want to be known as someone who reaches out to others to be the compassion of Christ. I want to be involved with my sweet church family to serve and love them in the good and bad times. May the lord equip me for following his direction. Wow. Year 29 has been rough. If the next year is rough I wanna wave my “Be Brave” bracelet and have my friend throwing Gods promises are so true and to not forget it. What are your goals, dear reader? A new week has come and a new month. What re things you want to work on?
I didn’t plan on a lot of things this year. I definitely did not plan on having two surgeries 5 months apart. The first was St. Patrick’s Day. The red head awake on the operating room table for TWO hours because all my veins kept blowing. Then, the red and pink head last week who thankfully got a working vein prior to pre op, but it literally looked like a murder scene when my sweet nurses got the vein. I had to be mopped up, sheets had to be changed, lots and lots of blood. As both surgeries went in thru my tummy, I now am recovering with what looks like 5 gunshot wounds and huge bruises thanks to several injections I had to have in my belly too. I’m kind of a train wreck. But, in a way it’s cool. I have battle scars. I am a fighter. I have lived through a lot. These wounds and scars are a tiny glimpse of the severe and often debilitating pain I have lived with for years. They show I am broken and far from perfect. They remind me of my Good Shepherd Physician who has healed me on so many levels and who has sent me amazing doctors who continue to figure things out.
My scars are a huge talking point for my nephew and niece. My precious babies have to constantly examine them and have made them sensitive to people who are hurting physically. The scars have helped teach these wee ones we can pray to God through Jesus Christ for healing and help. They are a reminder for me to pray for my sweet Dr. V who has become so important to me as he cares for all his patients.
I joke about being scarred for life for being awake in an operating room for so long, because, well, it was traumatic. But now my tummy is scarred for life, but I’m thankful for it. What better reminder to see and feel these scars everyday and know that the Shepherd is faithful. He has carried me during this physically and emotionally weak time. He loves me. He cherishes me. He wants me. He has used this to prove I am his sheep and my eyes need to be on Him alone. The valleys of life are where the streams of water and growth are. I honestly find joy in these trials. No, not fun or even happiness every minute but joy. I like being able to laugh my head off even though it feels like my whole abdomen is going to rip apart. I love finding the humor of the situation and laughing at myself being more messed up at age 29 than my sweet, precious 89 year old roommate. I love seeing my sister use her nursing skills to compassionately serve me how ever I need, even with the very gross stuff…oh wait, I have watched her give birth:) I LOVE seeing my four year old nephew and two year old niece be sooooo gentle and concerned over me. My nephew telling me every day ” ok, auntie Katie, I have to take you for another walk so your tummy will feel better” melts my heart every time. Hearing all their prayers asking Christ to help me feel better brings me to tears.
Of course, Christ is able to do all this without such extreme measures. But, I am glad he has chosen this path for me because I don’t think I would be able to see His glory as clear. I’m thankful for all the above examples of His grace. I just pray I use these times of trouble to glorify Him. The pain and exhaustion become hard to bear and I don’t want to lash out at people during those times. I also have to be in constant prayer about my panic attacks. I’ve struggled with panic disorder and severe anxiety over the years and sometimes I don’t understand what triggers it. But, when I do recognize a trigger, or am in the middle of an attack, I have to choose how I react. I try to reach out to others for prayer and saturate myself in scripture so I don’t lose sight that God is sovereign even when my brain seems to malfunction.
Praise God for his promises and because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Please praise Him with me that I have not been nauseous at all in this post op time. This is a gigantic, enormous blessing. Last time around it was horrible. I have such a huge problem with nausea that I have been in total shock this time has been so different. Pray with me I continue to persevere thru the pain and healing process and that God would have mercy on me with some of my other health problems that have caused lots of pain this week as well. Also, for peace as I continue to wait for more test results on the pituitary gland problems to figure out treatment.
I am long overdue for a thankfulness post, especially after the last few days!
-Today, early in the morning, I had my appendix taken out. I was in shock. Went to the ER yesterday afternoon per doctor’s orders and ended up in the OR! Just as I was finally healing and getting strong after my last surgery in March, this was a major shock realizing I have to start over from square one with a whole new recovery. I am still laughing about it and so thankful for all my wise doctors, my sister dropping everything to care for me and my other family members caring for my sister’s family so she could be with me. My church family and friends who have encouraged and prayed over me and the whole goofy situation.
-being home tonite with the pain controlled and being in my cozy bed.
-God’s promises in Psalm 91 my sis read to me in pre-op.
– my roomie and her daughter caring for me.
-laughter over my dysfunctional body.
-peace. Not the removal of hard times but knowing God is sovereign and working for my good. Knowing people all over the country have been approaching the throne of Grace on my behalf this week.
-kind nurses. One who shares my birthday. I was so happy.
-finally finding a good vein so I wouldn’t be awake on the operating table for two hours this time. And finding that correct vein making it look like a murder scene. Had to change my sheets. Lol!
– George from transport who transferred me from the ER to my room and then again to pre op. A brother in the Lord who was so fun to talk to and made me feel at ease that God was making me into a diamond and chipping away at the rough by pressure.
-Charles Spurgeon wisdom.
– moments of rest and focusing on the Shepherd and not panic attacks.
– a 4 year old nephew and 2 year old niece as my biggest encouragers and prayer warriors.
– my mommy. Always ready to laugh with me and support me.
– Enjoyable fiction pointing me to Christ by my favorite authors.
– did I mention a cozy bed?!
– my diseased appendix found and taken out early enough to not cause major problems.
– having my sis and bro and their fam here right now during my health probs. AND my BFF Candace is coming to town and so is my mom. God ordained this timing for amazing support and hilarious fun at just the right time to keep me encouraged and not isolated in pain.
Thank you, Shepherd, for carrying me through the past two days of whirlwind uncertainty. I am certain you love me and know me by name. You carry me and care for me in ways I take for granted or don’t even care to acknowledge. I love you, Abba, and belong to you!
Well, I certainly haven’t blogged in a long time. I’m not totally sure why. I have a lot on my mind and yet it’s hard to put it all into words. God has blessed me with a summer full of laughter and fun with my sister, brother in law, and their 3 children. Being aunt Katie is my favorite job. I love those kids so much my heart hurts.
My heart is full because I finally was able to finish the membership process at my church. I am so excited to have a church family. God has been so good to me. I have a wonderful job with a flexible and fun boss. I enjoy going to work and learning all sorts of new stuff.
My health. Just last week I was reflecting on Facebook how thankful I am for relief of pain and the success of my March surgery. The day after I posted that positive status update, I found some concerning symptoms. I’ve been discouraged because finally I have had a break from new issues and things are being treated and I am adjusting. So, I called my specialist and the office said I needed to come in. My appointment is this coming Wednesday. I went to my general doctor on Friday for other follow ups and he and the nurse were both very glad I am going in this week because I definitely need to get checked. I’ve been very nervous. I don’t want to deal with any more health things. My anxiety has been very high and I have had a few panic attacks, but I keep telling myself…ummm Katie, get a grip, God is still on the throne and he knows my body perfectly because he made me. Duh! But, I’m struggling. Of course I am scared because the symptoms point to cancer, but as my nurse said, there are sooooo many different things it could be and everyone is so different. Try not to think the worst. So, I wait. I will enjoy each day as it comes and no matter how tired I am or how much pain I experience, To God Be the Glory. He knows what is best for me to glorify Him. My ways and thoughts are not God’s ways and thoughts.
I am a little over 3 weeks post op and have realized I haven’t updated my blog. Surgery is rough. Chronic illness and chronic pain are also rough. But, as usual the grace of God is greater. I am beyond thankful and blessed to have found a compassionate doctor/surgeon to care for me. He has taken my pain seriously and had gotten to the bottom of things. I am healing very well and my doc is pleased with both the surgery and how I am recovering. I had a rough time before surgery. I arrived in pre op and was very dehydrated and as usual the nurse had a heck of a time finding a vein to start fluids and pain meds. Docs and nurses were in and out and finally my doc came and we went over everything. He even took a surgeon selfie with me before. They wheeled me in and the sweet nurse holding my hand and caressing my forehead said ok time for a nap. Well, they put the anesthesia in my vein and it blew. So, my arm burned for what seemed like an eternity. They started poking around everywhere and couldn’t find a vein. Two more times they found a vein and as soon as the anesthesia went in it blew and I was burning again. Of course I was in a panic because I was laying on an operating table hearing everything and being poked all over my body with needles. The sweet nurse was still by my side. All the nurses, surgeons, anesthesiologist, etc were trying to find a vein. Finally, they brought in an untrasound machine and found a deep vein. Two hours of hell laying awake on the table and I was finally asleep. I woke up in recovery and they kept giving me pain meds. My doc was very glad he did the surgery. He found a bunch of scar tissue behind my uterus and on the nerve and was able to get it all out. He said its old endometriosis. He was very happy he didn’t see any “active” endo. He did other stuff while in there and now we hope with my treatment plan no more endo will be able to grow. I am so thankful for my doctor. It has been a rough few weeks of recovery, but I am encouraged to not have my pain like before the surgery for all these years. My doc has taken great care of me and that has been really reassuring. I have been traumatized by the OR debacle and my anxiety has been terrible but the Shepherd continues to carry me thru every aspect. I’m praying my treatment works for a long time so I can function. I’m so thankful for everyone taking care of me and praying for me. It means the world.
I decided to cancel my membership at Planet Fitness today. My reasons are two-fold.
1. I decided to try one of their “classes” with one of the “trainers.” (I use those terms loosely). I have worked out extensively with trainers in the past and know what my body can handle and how to do things correctly. So, I told the “trainer” I have chronic illness so I know I am not strong enough for certain things. Instead of being encouraging and saying “ok, we will do what you can do and modify as needed” he went in to a LONG spiel about how most illness can be totally preventable and cured if I just work out and eat right. He wouldn’t stop even though I said well, there is no way to prevent the illnesses I have and there is no cure. I can only manage symptoms somewhat. He wouldn’t have it. I felt harassed and discouraged because here I am trying to get strong again in a “JUDGMENT FREE ZONE” and this individual was giving me medical opinion. I was so shocked I didn’t even say anything and that is my fault. I should have reported that to management.
2. Most people are aware of the company’s policies regarding transgender individuals. If you haven’t read the news articles about the woman, here in the great state of Michigan, who was banned from PF because she made a ruckus about a transgender woman in the locker room. Obviously, as a business, I believe planet fitness has every right to have policies in place saying that they allow individuals to choose what gender to identify with and can use the locker room of their choice. However, as a consumer, I have every right not to let them make money off of me. As a woman, I do not feel comfortable in a locker room where are men allowed. And most importantly, as a Christian I don’t feel comfortable supporting a company who outright mocks my Lord and Savior and his beautiful creation. I get very tired of people being politically correct and trying to please every little sexual perversion that comes up in society. We are being brainwashed that this behavior is normal and should be accepted when in the Bible it’s clearly an outright sin against God.
So, I am disappointed because I love working out at a gym and am trying to get strong despite my health set backs. I can’t afford any other gym but Pure Michigan is coming into spring so I will be able to enjoy the great outdoors. I hope more Christians will follows suit and cancel their memberships.