Tag: lupus

Walk through the valley.

I have walked through some of the darkest years of my life alone, so I thought. I have felt broken physically, mentally and spiritually. I have been completely overwhelmed at times with life, and not knowing what direction to go that I was afraid to move. To think the next thought, I might fall apart.  I have thought, that I just can’t just make it through another day through with all of my illnesses more times that I want to admit.

But I hold it all together for myself, my husband, and more than anything for my kids. I know that I am not alone,God is always with me, he will never leave me and I can always turn to him. I know that someone is reading this right now saying they know how this feels. 

No matter where I have been in this journey, I have learned that all of those feelings are only temporary even if they come back after a while. God has always sent help my way.
It may have been an encouraging word from a nurse, or something I read, or sending someone my way to bring a word of grace, but he has always provided what I needed.

I have to look for God even in the smallest of things because even if it doesn’t appear that anything is changing I know that God is always doing something. I know the closer that I walk with God, the more Satan will try to knock me down but I have to stand tall, and be strong in my faith and know where my help comes from no matter the challenge I am facing.  

What Satan doesn’t realize is the very tool that he thought would make me turn on God has brought me even closer to my heavenly Father. The sickness and the hardships of my life has made me put total dependency on God, instead of myself or someone else. Satan doesn’t want me to rise above my problems but I choose to rise above anyway even if it will take a little more effort on my part. 

David wrote in Psalms 23,” Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me.”

What you think consistently becomes your reality.

The mind is extremely powerful and can change our mood in an instant for good or for bad. 

For me it’s easy to get caught up in the negative thoughts because of my illness.  It never goes away, I always have a reminder even when my pain isn’t as high as normal! I have  heard a few times lately someone say, “you know, you will never get better.” “This is, “Chronic.” “You just got to learn to live with it.”

Yep, I was told that a few times, over the last few months and it was like a knife in the gut. I could feel my existence get ripped right from underneath me.  God just made me stop one day and made me realize it doesn’t have to be that way. I can control what I am thinking.  

I am not in denial of my reality. But I am a child of God!! And I believe in miracles still. I am not at the mercy of what the doctors say!! I am at the mercy of God!

 What you think consistently becomes your reality.

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So, I am doing a new thing; and I challenge you if you are still reading this at this point and it has spoken to you at all to try it for a week in your life and let me know how it goes for you. Every time I think something negative, I stop and I immediately think of the positive side.  If I am wake up hurting, well I turn that and think, I woke up alive, I have a bed, I have a house, I have AC, I have a family, I am dry etc.. keep going until it speaks to you. I have to be mindful of what I hear and what I think. I will not allow myself to dwell on the negative any longer.

Proverbs 4:23 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Carefully guard your thoughts
because they are the source
of true life.

I would rather be in control of my mind, have a strong mind and keep my thoughts positive and know that even if the world says this disease is killing me, God can turn this around anytime he wants. I would rather go down fighting with hope, than go down giving up.

Get out of the boat.

If there is one thing that I have learned from my life and walk with God, it’s that sometimes we are brought to our weakest point so that we can gain total dependency on God.

I have lost everything many times in my lifetime but God has rebuilt my life from scratch every time. I had many situations in my childhood that I do not know how I made it out alive, many unknowns, and close calls with my health now and I have had unknowns but God has always seen me through.

In those moments, I may have felt alone, but now I can recount times when I have no doubt that God was there, saving my life and intervening.

The most frequently repeated phrase in the Bible is “Do not be afraid!”

God is not speaking to our emotions, and since we can’t command emotions, however he is speaking to our will.

When Peter asked to get out of the boat, Jesus granted his request and said, “come to me,” however, the interesting thing is Jesus didn’t stop the waves or the storm. The further away Peter got from the boat, which was his safety, Peter started to get afraid and he began to sink.

Peter cried out, “Lord save me!!” And then, Jesus saved him and he rebuked him. “How little faith of you?”

Did Peter really trust Jesus? Sure, he did, after all, he got out of the boat but the fear of the storm paralyzed him.

When you step out of the boat you have to make a conscious decision not to allow fear to paralyze you.

Peter sank because he stopped walking towards Jesus and he allowed his emotions of fear to take over.

Faith is not knowing that God can but it is knowing that he will. Faith requires us to keep walking even when we are faced with fear, even if it’s the unknown.

I find that sometimes fear of the unknown gets the best of us at times. We walk in this life and everything is going great until one day something happens that we are unfamiliar with and we panic. It’s then that we have a choice, are we going to keep our eyes on Jesus and trust that no matter the road that we are led, he is in control or will we take our eyes off Jesus and let our emotions of fear take over.

I trust God with my life. And sometimes it is hard to keep focused on him when things feel like they are beyond my control but I know that God is my sufficiency, and when I am at my weakest, he is made strong.

No matter what you may be facing today, I encourage you to keep your eyes on Jesus. #keepyoureyesonJesus

A great tip to improve Brain Fog. 

I wanted to take a moment and discuss Brain Fog. I have Lupus, and Fibromyalgia and lately symptoms of brain fog have affected me greatly. It’s has made it extremely difficult to think in complete thoughts, I forget what I am saying in mid-sentence, I forget descriptive words, dates, the days of the week, etc. I was getting extremely confused more and more and to me it was really frustrating. I was feeling like I was stuck inside my own head. 

My Rhuematologist suggested a supplement of DHEA last visit. She said, “there were studies that were proven that DHEA was used to treat Lupus and brain fog.” 

DHEA is a steroid hormone produced by the body’s adrenal glands that has anti-inflammatory effects.

I was desperate to think straight. Ordinarly, I am not a believer in quick fixes, but it was an over-the-counter supplement that my doctor said she even tried, so why not, I tried it and I am glad I did. Within a week, I could tell a difference in the Brain Fog. She warned me that she will want to increase the dosage but right now a little relief was very welcomed. 

So if you are a Lupus/Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue/ or you just suffer from Brain Fog it’s definitely worth a talk with your doctor to see if this is good for you. 

Speaking Life

Wouldn’t it be amazing if life wasn’t filled with heartache and pain? Imagine a world covered with love, joy, peace. A world where no one grieves, no one has pain, no one faces hardships, no one faces sickness.
The reality is, we all face struggles and hardships at some point in our lives. In the last four years I have faced countless illnesses with few answers. If you know me you probably know that I have many Autoimmune Diseases that affect my internal organs, it has been an ongoing battle . I have learned a lot about keeping my faith in God in the middle of these trying times. I believe that because I have kept my faith pretty strong through out that has carried me through.

Constantly receiving unwelcome news

I don’t consider myself negative, or lacking faith, but after some time constantly receiving unwelcome news week after week, with no in end in sight it started to get to me. I didn’t even recognize that my mind had started to shift into a place where I was losing, hope until my Dad started teaching about finding joy. He called me one day and told me to find the positive in every situation, even if it is bad news, find the positive. I was just going through another health scare and I have to tell you that at first, I was really angry, and I was “ice cold”, whenever he brought the subject up for the next few weeks. How could he be so insensitive? He told me with all the negative news, the negative thoughts, the negative speech comes, negative results. He wanted me to not only find the positive but he wanted me to turn on praise music, sing along, take out my guitar and sing to the Lord as much as possible without hurting me physically.

Dad’s right

As it turns out, Dad knows what he is talking about. I had realized that being sick has forced me to give up everything that I loved. So, I began to find little things that I could do even if it was in short increments, I had allowed my illness win for too long.
After praying about it, a lot, I did come around and realize the error of my ways and I began to really listen to my Dad. I picked up my guitar after a long time of not playing and began play worship music every morning. I had just quit because it hurt, but I can play for a short time and it is just enough for my spirit.

Change of mindset

What was most difficult was to make changes in my mindset, because when you are sick and there are no answers to be found, the last thing you can possible think about is something positive.

Stay positive.

I pay attention to the blessings that are interwoven in my own struggles. No matter what I am facing there is always something that I can find to be thankful for, I just have to look for them. I have to keep my mind positive.
I found that if I stepped outside of myself and allowed my flesh to get out-of-the-way I could speak positive words over myself. I say things like, “I am going to have a good day today.” No matter what the doctor says I say, “I believe I’m getting better.” When I get a negative report from the doctor, I go to God’s word and it says I’m healed because of the price that Jesus paid for my healing. When someone says negative words to me, I cast them down and get rid of those negative words. I say things like, “I have a bright future ahead of me,”

I do not allow other people’s negative thoughts enter my mind.  

I believe you are what you speak, so if you say you are going to have a bad day this morning, most likely you will. I am not saying its a cure all, but I am saying there is power in the mind.  

Lastly, speaking God’s promises is a key element in my healing process. I speak things like.

Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

John 1: 12 (NKJV)
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.”
(As a child of God, I have all the rights and privileges of being His daughter.)

Isaiah 53: 5 (NKJV)
“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.”

Psalms 118: 17 (Amplified)
“I will not die, but live, And, declare the works and recount the illustrious acts of the LORD.”

Even though I do know a cure has not been found as of yet for Lupus, and I am facing some pretty big things, I also know that nothing is impossible, but all things are possible with God. I am choosing to put all of hope in him right now. I have nothing to lose at this point, except for maybe a bad attitude. I would rather spend my life deliriously joyful when the world thinks I shouldn’t be than be miserable and lonely and be the status quo.

What kinds of things do you do to change your mindset?

 

Rise!

Rise!

What if God wants to use you and what you are going through to reach someone else? What if He wants to heal you so that your story can heal someone else? I know that I often see myself as insignificant but God does not see me that way! He sees me and you differently than how we see ourselves. He sees us stronger than we give ourselves credit for, he sees us as victorious, significant, and he wants for us to live the abundant life that he prepared for us before we were even born.

We were made to RISE above! Whatever you are facing today, it does not define who you are. Maybe you have an illness, depression, addiction, abuse, anxiety, or past regrets, whatever it is God has a plan. Be still and you will find it.

 

Surrounded ( Fight my battles) Michael W.Smith

 

This song seemed appropriate for my mood today. Enjoy.

Suffering doesn’t always have to mean hopeless.

When you are suffering it’s easy to slip into a state of hopelessness.

I live with chronic illness, my major organs are being attacked one of them is my heart, that means unless God heals me, I am not going to get any better. That also means, each day I have to be at peace with where I am at today, at this very moment. You can be angry about the past or your present right now, that’s entirely up to you. I tend not to give the power back over to the people or my illness that have already ruined things once.


The way I see it is; that I can live life one of two ways;


One; I was born into an unfair world, I suffered and I didn’t deserve how I got treated. I get knocked down too much and I don’t think life is fair so I am not going to even try. Life just sucks…

Two; I can use my circumstances and become stronger because of them. Every time life knocks me down, I get back up again using it as a spring-board. I focus on the good things in life and enjoy every moment in life that I do have.

I choose to live my life exactly like the second choice. I have no time for negativity in my mind because my time is so precious and limited.

I refuse to allow myself to think about how unfair my illness is.  I know the consequences in the end, but I do not dwell on them. I am making my life worthwhile anyway though, no matter the trials. 

Make your life count for something no matter what is going on in your life. If you are sick, count your blessings still.

I would rather live out the rest of my days being grateful for all the things I  do have, rather than be upset, live in regret, waste precious time, for the things I didn’t do or don’t have.

Day 3…How does Auto immune affect our family.

This is my best friend and her perspective. When you have chronic illness, it’s hard to keep friends close because you constantly have to cancel plans and she does get that from me. I have tried my best to educate everyone in my life what Lupus is. I believe that has helped my relationships.



I have known Tabitha most of my life and she is one of the strongest people that I know. She can handle just about anything that is thrown her way. When she told me she was diagnosed with Lupus, I had no idea what that really meant. It took some learning on my part to understand how this can really impact a
person’s life and change everything that they know. As I said before, Tabitha is one of the strongest people I know, if not the strongest. I am always worrying about her even when I don’t say it; that is just who I am as a person. When I do ask how she is, she quickly tries to comfort me with a “I’m fine”, “things
are great”, but I can see hurt in her eyes, or hear the pain in her voice that is caused by this disease. I wish that everyday I could make the pain go away or make it my own, that way she would no longer suffer. I worry for her family too and wish they could have their mom back in full health that she use to be. She is loved beyond words and there is nothing I wouldn’t do for her, even write this up with

the little sleep I have had, working over 12 hours a day, going out 10 days straight. I Love you Tabitha.



In case you missed it….

Living with many Autoimmune Diseases is difficult enough. I have to keep on living a life, being a mother and a wife. I have to deal with my pain and I have to keep a handle on my emotions.


Over the next few days I will share some of my closest family and friends writings on how my illness affects them. I asked each of them to write how my illness affects them. The first one will be from my Father, the second one will be from my 14 year old daughter and I will continue for a few days with a few more people. 

The reason I am doing this is because I want to bring awareness that our families and friends are deeply affected.



When we are physically  hurting, they are emotionally hurting for us. Sometimes it’s hard to express that you love someone when it hurts so bad.

See previous post for letters from other family.

Let me let you in on the seriousness of my Autoimmune Disease story. Let’s get real for a minute.

 Let’s get real for a minute. 

I think at times I downplay the seriousness of my autoimmune diseases and I don’t allow others in on the reality of my story. 

My major organs are being attacked. I have heart blockages in my right bundle branch and I have the beginnings of kidney issues due to lupus. My digestive system doesn’t work as at it should, for my digestive system to break down foods it takes three times as long as a normal system.



I have over ten autoimmune diseases all of them have symptoms of their own. Lupus, Mixed Connective Tissue Disease, Lupus Nuephritis, Gastroparesis Nuerocardiogenic syncope,Sjogens, Autonomic dysfuction, Esophageal dysfuction, Arthritis, Antiphospholipid Syndrome, Autoimmune dysautonomia, Raynaud’s phenomenon, Myositis, chronic pain syndrome, and fibromyalgia. I am sure I have forgotten to list something because I also suffer from short term memory loss. 



 

I have to take a hand full of medication in the morning and at night, where before I became sick getting me to take Tylenol was difficult. 
I am on a healthy eating plan because I have serious digestive issues. I eat soft foods, I do not eat much more than a cup full of food at a meal. I do not eat sugar, processed foods, fried foods, gluten or bread. 
I have people advising me continuously about special diets, gluten free diets, vitamin rich diets and more as if these would cure things in an instant. I have a list of foods that my doctors tell me I cannot eat but I continue to fight every single day to stay alive and to stay healthy.
I just turned 39 years old on Friday and I plan on spreading awareness of the horrible autoimmune diseases that attack millions of people so that one day there might be a cure. 
My desire is to make the public aware of autoimmune disease and to reach as many people as I can for Jesus Christ. God has given me peace about what is happening in my body and I want everyone else to find peace as well. I remain positive because the only one that can heal me is God. He is all I have.