Monday, October 12, 2009

A Good Reminder

Today is our 7th anniversary. It was spent in rather unconventional ways, but it ended well. We went to dinner as a family and then subjected the boys to parts of our wedding and reception video footage. :) Anyway, Philip and I have a tradition of keeping a journal where we record our monthly "memorable" moments. Then at the end of the year, we go through the months of the past year and pick our top 10 favorite memories, which we then record in a different journal, along with our goals for the next year. So, this morning, while I was being radioactive during my gall bladder HIDA scan and laying under some machine and unable to move, Philip read me the list of all our highlights of the past year. It's amazing how much we forget over time and it was so good to be reminded of all the wonderful things that have happened in the last 12 months...many of them in 2009. A year I said I'd really like to move past. And I would in a lot of ways. However, this really has been a wonderful, special year. It was good to get a reminder.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A New Year?

Is 2009 over yet?? Just wondering because this year has been a doozy and we're kinda ready to move on. First, I must say, we are SO blessed and SO grateful for all we have and the ways the Lord has shown us His favor. However, that doesn't mean that all is good, you know? This year has just been chock full of struggles in the health department...and almost all have affected me. It's tough being a mom no matter what. It's even tougher when you're under the weather or operating at a sub-par level. Especially when you believe in doing things with excellence.

I'm sure many of you remember the strep epidemic that was our house this Spring, with me having six cases of it before we finally figured out the boys were silent carriers. Let me tell you, any twitch of the throat strikes fear in my heart now! Joshua was found to be carrying strep again in August (and again with no symptoms), so we're going to have to keep a really close eye on him. We don't want a repeat performance!

Then, I got pregnant. This was good news and we were so excited about welcoming a new family member (another boy, who we had already named) as our family Christmas gift. However, as you all know, 13 weeks into the pregnancy, I again miscarried. Not only was this upsetting, but the residual effects of this pregnancy have been very stressful, difficult and ongoing. As soon as I conceived, I started experiencing gall bladder attacks several times a week. Many of you probably don't know that I had gall bladder problems almost 6 years ago that were triggered by Caleb's birth. I suffered tremendously for 4 months, but felt strongly that God would heal me and that I should not remove the organ. He did heal me, and I did not have it removed. I was subsequently pregnant four times with no reemergence of the problem. Until I conceived this Spring. I was hoping and praying that with the loss of the pregnancy and resuming hormonal normalacy that the attacks would stop. They didn't. I continued to experience weeks with no problem, then weeks with 2-3 attacks. I put off going to a doctor because I just didn't want to be told "Have it out." Well, September 3rd changed that. I was 20 minutes from leaving for the airport to fly to Seattle when I went from feeling perfectly fine, to on the floor yelling in pain. For 15 terrible minutes I thought about how unfortunate it was I was going to be going to the ER instead of the airport. Then, mercifully, the pain stopped. And I left for the airport and had a delightful time in Seattle. Although, let me tell you....trepidation and fear filled me as I consumed my next meal at 35,000 feet in the air. I almost warned my seat partner of what could happen, but didn't. Anyway, after this occurred, Philip said "that's it. I'M making you an appt!" Predictably, the doctor said "you should probably have it out," however before I make that decision we are having some testing done. This morning I had an abdominal ultrasound to see if there are stones in my gall bladder. (Five years ago it was 1/3 full of stones). This coming Monday (our 7th anniversary, btw), I will have a HIDA Scan, which is a procedure where they test the functionality of the gall bladder. If it comes back at less than 30%...I am in trouble. So, please pray.

Also triggered by the miscarriage was a journey over the summer into depression. I knew something was wrong because I just didn't feel like myself, but I figured it was just the hormones equalizing. However, in September, it became unavoidably obvious that something serious was wrong. I went to see someone and was diagnosed with a serotonin deficiency. Once I started reading about the symptoms of that, it all made perfect sense. I am taking some steps right now to try to correct things naturally, but would appreciate your prayers for wisdom. This news really rocked my world because of what has happened to my mom. About five years ago she was diagnosed as bi-polar in an experience over a few months that was horrifying and emotionally terrible to watch and live through. And something I never want to have to face myself. (Although, it entirely possible that what happened to her was a result of mismanagement of her case, more than it was something genetically predisposed to happen) Finding out that I was already on the edge of depression horrified me. The good news here is that we caught this early...and there is certainly no guarantee that things will go any further...but the possibly is there. And is scares me.

Not only has the "depression" (and I hate to call it that because I'm not exactly depressed) caused me to be somewhat emotionally flat, unstable and sometimes apathetic (all things that I normally am NOT), it has also caused me to feel scattered and overwhelmed and forgetful. As someone who has always been able to handle multiple balls in the air with ease, this has been quite frustrating. Like this morning when I showed up for my ultrasound without the required doctor's order I had left on my desk. Or two weeks ago when I got to the grocery store, only to realize I'd left my wallet at home, which normally wouldn't have been a big deal because I have a debit card on my key chain, but I had accidentally paid a bill twice and that day was in danger of overdrawing the account! So, home I went... But I don't normally do these things! Or feel like I am buried under a mountain of things to do with no way out. It's so frustrating. And don't try talking to me on a day when I haven't had enough sleep...I might not be able to tell you my name! HA!

So, here's the good news for me. God is in control. Boy can I say that I do NOT understand, like or appreciate what is going on in my life right now. But, I do know that God's word tells us that He can work ALL THINGS for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (that would be me!). I am not trying to over-spiritualize, but it sure is nice to know that He has this under control, even though I don't get it. And that one day I'll hopefully be able to look back and say "Oh, that's why that happened."