Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Is there greener grass to be found?
I'm sitting here staring at an open bag of Twizzlers, contemplating a minor victory. I never thought I had it in me to say no. I did- I opted instead for tea, cashews and cantaloupe. After being basically sugar and gluten free for the past 5 weeks that when I read down through the ingredient list (for Twizzlers) their appeal was lost on me. For those of you that know me well this minor victory is actually quite a major breakthrough. One day at a time. That's what I keep telling myself.
There's no mistaking it- life is hard, for everyone. I'm reminded of that truth every time I go for another test and see that I am not the only one there. Just a couple of days ago while getting 14 tubes of blood taken I ran into 2 people that I knew. They were giving their blood up to be tested as well. I chatted a bit with my one friend from the chorale inquiring as to why she was there. Truth be told, it's not often that I let myself become lost in the hardships of others. I tend to think that my brain will explode if I take in too much sorrow, if I feel compelled to care, then get overwhelmed when I don't know how to reach out past my own sorrows. Most days my energy is consumed overcoming my own struggles.
When Caleb was born and I wanted to throw him out of a window to make him stop crying, I knew something was wrong. Each pregnancy brought new challenges and symptoms. After Moriah was born I finally decided to seek out some answers as to what was going on with my body. Little more than 5 years ago I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's disease. I was told that there was an easy fix. All you have to do is take a teeny tiny little pill for the rest of your life. Then the stomach pain and bloating started and the numbness and dizzy spells got worse. A couple of years ago anemia was thrown into the mix. As for the stomach problems those were put into the giant sphere of irritable bowel syndrome. Did I mention I have food addictions as well??? The past few years have been spent scheduling tests and more tests to get at the root of the problem- what has caused so much to go wrong? There is always a part of me that is optimistic that something will be found that will give insight into why my body betrays me at times like it does. I recently started down a more natural path in hopes of healing my body. Because of doing this I thought I was ready to ditch my medical field approved pill. Yet I just got the call that I was dreading, my thyroid isn't working. Now what. I've been told to start taking the pill again. In my gut I believe that it was doing more harm than good... So desiring to come to a place where I can accept that this is as good as it gets for me in my earthly body and then learn to live fully in this place. There are days when I am so close to being there, then there are days like today when frustration sets in and the tears flow. So confused as to where to go from here.
I am so blessed to have such a supportive family. At such a young age Caleb was put in charge of caring for his sisters when I was having a "bad" day. He is still so watchful of them, wanting no harm to befall them. They have endured countless dr. visits with me. Just the other day they sat with me while I chatted with my nutritionist. I looked over at Lily to see that she was flossing her teeth with a fluorescent kid flosser. She had taken 2 along, one for the top teeth, another for the bottom. The kids can tell you which offices they like the best. The place yesterday would have to be rated right up at the top. I had an electronic dizzy test while Andy took the kids exploring. There was a waterfall and elevators in the building. The highest kid-ranked items when it comes to any location, water and elevators. Found out afterwards that they played hide and seek using the elevators- by themselves! I have watched everyone adopt my new way of eating by coming on board with me. Some days the kids awake with more excitement than others about the foods we will be eating. At the store they now squeal with delight as they press their faces up against the glass to peer at the sugar- laden cakes, cookies and doughnuts which they know better than to ask if we can buy...
Times of laughter through the tears. Moriah saying "mommy doesn't want to eat because she doesn't want to get a fat tummy". There is truth in her statement. There is always a fear that what I am doing is harming myself further. The foods that I eat, the pills that I swallow. Being careful how I dress myself to "hide" what is so obvious to me. Through it all I have learned much about myself, about the God that I desire to serve, about the people that He has created in His image. I have had friends reach out to me at just the right times. I have been moved by hearing similar stories of others suffering in ways that they to find hard to express.
When there isn't a name to what you have it's easier at times to not share, thinking that others can't possibly understand what you going through, the pain and frustrations it causes when you just want to feel normal, whatever normal feels like. The games your mind chooses to play. Never sure which advice to heed or where to go next. The dr. who says there is no shame in taking drugs to treat depression, another telling you to learn to live with it if it's not killing you, the expert expressing concern over prescription drugs causing long-term problems. I'm taking one step at a time, one day at a time, seeking to find greener grass. Not certain that even if I did find greener grass if it would be at all like I envisioned... yet I still need to believe that it's out there for me to find. I have a hope beyond tomorrow but it's that hope for living tomorrow that I need to get me through.