Sunday, June 24, 2012

Where have I been?

priesthood blessing

I haven’t blogged in quite some time. Have you wondered what I’ve been doing? I have been dealing with Lyme disease. This is one of those cases where the treatment is, for a time, worse than the cure. I’ve been in loads of pain. Though people who’ve known about my diagnosis have commented that I have the worst luck, I don’t agree. It has truly been a blessing for me. Here’s why…

Sixteen years ago my body went haywire. I was pregnant with my first child. In my first trimester I gained four pounds. My second trimester was about the same. My third trimester I gained around 30 pounds. I couldn’t understand how, because I was too tired to even think about eating. I attributed it to one of the trials of pregnancy and felt it would end when I had my beloved child. However, labor came and went and I felt worse than before. Six months later, I was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer.

Two surgeries and some radiation later, they said life would be semi-normal as long as I took my thyroid medicine. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. The medicine just didn’t work well for me. They’ve tried lots of different doses and switched me from generic to name brand, but nothing seemed to help. Eventually they put me on two different types of thyroid medications.  More endocrine problems ensued—not just with my thyroid. It seemed like all the doctors could do was give me more and more medications to do what my body should be doing on its own, yet my health was getting worse. No one could figure out what was wrong with my body and why it didn’t respond to medications--until recently.

A few months ago I was having a lot more trouble with pain than I normally do. Plus, I was even more exhausted than ususal. I asked my home teacher for a blessing. In it he said my doctor would find out what was wrong with me and would be able to treat it. After 15 years of doctors playing guinea pig on me that sounded like music to my ears.  I saved up enough money to go to the doctor in anticipation of the fulfillment of my priesthood blessing.

The morning of my appointment, I got down on my knees and reminded Heavenly Father of His promise. We weren’t five minutes into my visit with my doctor when he said, “Annmarie, you’re going to think I’m insane, but I think you have Lyme disease. Not only that, but I think you’ve had it for years. I truly believe that this has been what has caused all your endocrine problems. I wouldn’t be surprised if it is what caused your thyroid cancer.”

I didn’t think he was crazy. Not because I understood the science behind any of it, but because all that was ringing through my head was my priesthood blessing. I trust my doctor, but I really trust my Heavenly Father.

He drew some blood and two weeks later he called me in for the results. I had a very high positive and all three anti-bodies, which surprised even my sweet doctor. The treatment is three different types of strong antibiotics for about a year.  He warned me that the treatments were hard and told me that I would get worse before I got better. He was right. I’ve been in more pain, I’m even more tired, I keep getting fevers, my stomach hurts all the time, and my muscles have been both spasming and locking up.

However, I am much luckier than his other patient with Lyme. He told me one of his patients has been having seizures and even had to have a feeding tube put in. I am truly blessed. Plus, with the amount of pain I’ve been in, Heavenly Father has been very merciful and has given me the grace to fulfill my responsibilities. I’m not really missing much work. I’m still able to care for my children. Not many people in my situation are as fortunate. Plus, finally after all these years I have hope.

In the meantime, life goes on. My children are growing so fast. Sarah was baptized. Rachel has started Young Womens, Dillon got his patriarchal blessing, and Neil starts kindergarten in the fall.

There has been progress in my life too. I’m 3/4 of the way through the revisions of my first novel. Plus, I’ve been learning SO much in my Scriptures. I’ve got a list of things I’m learning in the books of Mosiah and the Doctrine and Covenants that I can’t wait to share with you. Now that I’ve gotten a kind of schedule down with my treatments and keeping up with the house (sort of), I’ll be blogging again.

I wouldn’t mind your prayers over the next few months, not only for my healing, but for my first novel. I want to do a good job on it. I want it to bring enjoyment to the 10 and up crowd, but I also want it to give them a desire to be better people. Well, that is it for today. Look back toward the middle of next week for articles on what I’ve been learning.