Tell me when . . . WHEN!

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I just came home from a three day veterinary convention. It just so happens that our booth was right next to a MAGIC MASSAGE vendor. They were selling massagers that promised to alleviate back and neck pain and get rid of migraines completely! I thought it was a sign from God! Finally one of my prayers had been answered!

The second day of the conference I couldn’t resist – I had to try it out! I got up enough  courage to walk over and ask for a demo. I was so anxious. Could it really be true? Would I really live pain-free forever now? I have a seat, he explains how the device works, I put a few sticky pads on my neck and wait. The pressure/voltage/waves (whatever makes this thing work) were crazy intense. With Bartonella, one of my new symptoms is a stiff, sore neck. It always feels like I slept wrong – except it never goes away. So, I was hopeful that this little device would finally put an end to this ongoing pain. A couple minutes into the treatment, the sales rep asked if my pain was still there. Yep. Still there. So, we moved the pads to a different part of my neck. Still not working. We added ear buds that are made specifically for migraines. So, now I have two pads on my neck, one massager on each ear and the only thing that is happening is that my muscle twitches are out of control and now visible. I’m twitching uncontrollably. He looks nervously at me, and asks if I’m okay. I take all the pads, plugs and buds off, hand them to him and reply, “Yes, I’m fine,” and walk away.

This little gadget was working for so many people. The woman in the chair next to me actually swore that her headache was gone five minutes into the massage. These things were selling left and right. They were BY FAR the most successful booth at the whole trade show. But yet, it did nothing for me.

As I sat on the train alone, I started to think about it and realized that the reason it didn’t work for me, was because my pain isn’t real. It’s real in the sense that I feel it and I hurt from it, but there is nothing physically wrong with my neck. I am not suffering from a pulled muscle, I’m suffering from a Lyme and Bartonella co-infection. The bacteria is affecting my brain and my brain is convincing me that I have neck pain, knee pain, headaches etc. But in reality nothing is wrong with my body. That’s why the massager didn’t work for me. You can’t fix what’s not broken. That’s why pain meds don’t work either. The only thing that works for me are the mind altering drugs. They don’t take the pain away, but they help me to tolerate it.

So, now what? I keep chugging along as I have been, taking my 15 plus pills every morning, mix and chug my secret lyme potions, and chase them with a peanut butter crackers. I read a few blogs tonight from other Lymies who suffered for years and years without a diagnosis. I am SO blessed to have received a diagnosis so soon. And even more blessed to have a husband who is behind me every step of the way, assisting with doctors appointments, prescriptions, bed rest and more. But when is enough, enough?

I trust God and His plan. I know that there is something to be learned from all of this. But it’s been over a year of being sick now. Almost one year of dr appointments every six weeks, and a new treatment plan every few months. And where am I? Back to square one.

I’m lying on the couch every night. My muscles ache from head to toe. Everyday there is something new, whether it’s night sweats or a full body rash. I no longer dream of running on the beach, and training for a race – but I long for a morning with coffee and breakfast instead of rummaging through my basket of prescriptions and gagging on pills. I want a night of tucking my kids in bed and telling bed times stories, instead of kissing them on their forehead and sending them up to bed, while I go back to fetal position on the couch.

I’m an advocate. I fight for what my kids deserve. I fight for treatment I deserve. But just like our early Autism days, I feel like I’m fighting for something that I don’t even know will work. I used to fight with the child study team for one hour of one on one speech therapy for my son, because he had such a severe communication delay. I didn’t know if the 30 minutes of small group therapy that they were already providing was enough. Maybe it was? Maybe it wasn’t. But I had to fight for more, because I knew he still wasn’t where he needed to be. So, I fought.

Today my husband is fighting the fight. He wants me to see another doctor. He doesn’t think they’re being aggressive enough. He wants IV treatment now. The pills aren’t working. But are they? You’re supposed to feel worse before you get better. The antibiotics are killing the bacteria, the toxins are flowing through your body and your organs can’t work fast enough to get rid of them, so they’re wreaking havoc on your body. I feel like crap. I’m sick as a dog. Does it mean it’s not working? No, it means it is.

But tell that to my husband. He has had enough. So I have to ask, is this Lyme journey just a test of our faith? A test of our patience? There is NO CURE for Lyme. Not today, not tomorrow and probably not in my life time. The only thing we can do is kill off as much bacteria as we can and get the immune system back up and running. There is nothing else. So, when it comes down to it, all we have is our faith. Faith in the doctors that they are doing the best they can. Faith in each other that we will be there for each other. And faith in God…. that He is in control. That He will never leave us or forsake us. I know that He is carrying me through this and that I will come out, hand in hand, on top of the Lyme mountain with hubby.

But for now, we’re stuck in this valley and as God pours more and more rain/trials saying, “Just tell me when . . . .” We’re screaming, “WHEN! WHEN already! When!”

But as I sit here and type this, it makes me chuckle, because who are we to doubt Him? To say, okay, we’ve had enough. We know nothing of his amazing plan. Years from now we’re going to look back at this moment and think, “wow . . . . I see how it all came together after that!” But until then we have to keep reminding each other that even when we’re ready to throw our hands in the air, wave the white flag and toss in the towel, God is in our corner. He’s got our back and when we’re too tired to fight the fight anymore, he will fight for us.

So the next time you’re ready to give up, you’ve had ENOUGH . . .  just stop and take a moment and consider this: HIS grace is enough. He would never tell you WHEN, so we should think twice before we say it to Him.

grace is enough

What color is your spot today?

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I may have mentioned once or twice my very long, very boring daily commute. If I have, then it’s worth mentioning again . . . it’s very long and very boring. So, I have all the time in the world to reflect on my day, my life, my trials, my trials, my trials – did I mention my trials? With that said, I usually try to focus on the sky (yes, while I’m driving). It’s a pretty open road, out in the middle of nowhere and I noticed that if I keep my eyes on the skyline, I seem to have a positive/thankful attitude. I often find myself in awe of this majestic world that God has created, instead of stressing about the situation I’m about to walk into (whether home or work).

Today I noticed that the sky looked like a giant layered cake! There were clouds as far as my eyes could see and they looked like small thin layers on top of each other. One really dark layer, then another a little lighter, then in the next you could almost see the sun trying to pop through -but not quite. It was a visual reminder of my life.

Life will never just be one layer or one shade, rather it comes in a variety of shades. You’ve got some really, dark days during those difficult times. Bright shiny days during those stress free days – but no many how many different layers and shades there are in your life, when you take a few steps back and look at it from a far, you realize it’s a beautiful piece of art. A breath-taking canvas that God has personally created just for you.

When you’re right in the midst of those dark trials, it may just seem like a bunch of black paint on a page, but once you look past that, you can see the beauty of it all. You realize that black is actually just a combination of a bunch of other beautiful colors. Don’t focus so much on those dark smudges, because remember he washes us pure as white. There are no black smudges when He looks at us.

So, let’s stop dwelling on the dark trials and start thanking our creator for our own individual masterpieces. Can you imagine a piece of art without color? No – of course not! Now let’s try to think of your trials as various colors that are adding to the artwork that is your life. Without those colors, you would have a boring blank canvas. And that’s no way to live life.

Ephesians 2:10

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.