You may want to start by reading this.
When do you stop ‘toughing it out’? At what point do you admit physical defeat and accept that it’s probably time to go through more testing? We’ve all had to answer some of these questions in relation to our health in our lives. It’s a tough crossroads to be at.
April will mark a year since I began having …trouble (understatement) with my stomach. After a disappointing first go around with medical help, I determined to exhaust every option I could on my own. I tried different ways of eating (or not eating). After reading that exercise has been known to eliminate IBS symptoms I started working out 7 days a week instead of 5. I’ve tried getting more sleep, reducing my stress, and everything else that’s ever been posted on the internet.
I’m not allergic to dairy products.
I do not have a gluten intolerance.
I don’t have any diseases, disorders, or deformities.
In fact, I’m freakishly healthy. My doctor couldn’t find one single reason I should be getting so ill.
When I began the fast I prayed for some answers. I figured if the answer I got was not getting sick during the fast it’d be worth exploring the dietary realm again…but alas, I got sick 3 days of the 21 I was eating only fruits, veggies, beans, and nuts. Ouch.
So, maybe my answer wasn’t what I expected but there may still be an answer there. Maybe the answer is, I can’t just eat healthier and exercise more – I may really need more help. This is a scary answer for a girl who dreads the doctor. I honestly googled ‘pulling your own wisdom teeth’ before finally agreeing to go have mine pulled (sans drugs, naturally) by an oral surgeon. I HATE all things medical. I hate taking medicine. I hate the smell of doctors offices. I hate waiting rooms full of sick miserable looking people. I hate that they weigh you (what’s what about, anyway?). I hate being touched by strangers. Hate hate hate – with every fiber of my being the whole experience.
Don’t believe me? Let me tell you a story. When I was 10ish I swam competitively for a club. Apparently when God made me, he saw fit to give me slightly angled ear canals that retain water. My first year swimming I had 9 ear infections. Now, this wouldn’t be major except I don’t like the doctor. So instead of coming to my mom, complaining like children do about my ear hurting, I kept swimming. And swimming. And swimming. If I told her, I’d have to go back to the doctor, take more meds, sit out of the pool – you get the idea. So I sucked it up for so long (over a month) that the doctor literally told me it was a miracle I could still hear. He told my mom the pain I must be experiencing from THE most intense ear infection he’s ever seen – could ‘make a grown man cry’. I responded, well since I’m not crying – can I keep swimming?
I’ve always been a pretty tough cookie. My Mom tells funny stories about how I never cried as a child. And about some of the odd injuries I managed along the way…but this isn’t really about toughness anymore. If there was ever any doubt I could hack it with some pain, I’ve proven over the last year that not only can I handle the pain but I can be sick in 6 different states and still get my job done. But there comes a point I suppose where you can’t just keep ‘surviving’ and you have to seek out answers.
I know that the next steps won’t be pretty. Or fun. Or simple. Or pain free. I dread with every fiber of my being the very idea of tests and poking and prodding all over again. Of trial and error. Of discouragement at appointments with no answers. But I’m beginning to think, I don’t have another choice.
If you’re a believer, I’d love your prayers over the next week or so while I consider this. It may be time to make the plunge and start all over again trying to figure this out. To say I’m dreading it or even that I’m scared would be a gross understatement. I'd literally cut my own stomach out to avoid it if I could (I googled that too – it’s a no-go).
God is in control and I trust He has a plan in all this. Pray that my hope, my rest, and my faith would always be only in Him.