Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Change of Perspective - A Personal Update

Pretty blurry, huh?  Not much fun to look at.  That's how I've felt for the past fifteen months.  I get a vague picture - I am sick, but what is making me sick???
I doubt many people want to throw a party when they find out that they have an autoimmune disease, but when the doctor called with this latest round of test results confirming that I do indeed have an autoimmune disease, that is exactly what I wanted to do.  My husband said that if there was a "congratulations on your autoimmune disease" card, he'd buy it for me.
A few months into this illness, I was terrified that I had an autoimmune disease.  There's no quick treatments to make those go away.  I was so glad when my initial screening came back negative; I was still hoping for a diagnoses of something curable.  Now, fifteen months into this, I'm not picky, I just want a diagnoses.
In September of this year, my frustration  level was so high, I was crying out to God, "Where are you? Why aren't you making me well?  Get me out of this, I can't take care of my family."   Whether it was the Holy Spirit whispering or not, I cannot say for sure, but the words of a song from my preschool teaching days came to me, "Going on bear hunt....we came to a river, can't go over it, can't go under it, can't go around it, gotta go through it, gotta go through it."  I remember in that moment, submitting to that fact that I was not going to be instantly healed, but rather that the Holy Spirit was and would keep walking with me right through the middle of this terrible river called chronic illness .  He would not give up on me and I promised, once again, not to give up on Him.
So, since I've been looking at a very blurred image for so long, I am thrilled to at least have a bit of a clearer picture. We are not sure which autoimmune disease I have, my doctor is leaning toward Systemic Lupus Erythematosus as my symptoms most resemble that,  but he cannot say for sure without further testing. 
So for now, I will continue to make this my goal:

And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10


  1. Thank you for posting this Melissa! This is so real.It helps me understand what you have been going through.The metaphor of the blurriness is relevant.His grace IS sufficient for you and that is so true. You need to be a writer.You have a gift and such a beautiful heart. Thanks for sharing it on your blog. love always your friend Kinga

  2. Thank you my dear aunt and friend

  3. Melissa, thank you for having this blog and for sharing your journey. You are truly an inspiration. I am happy for you to have a diagnosis, as I know how you have struggled this past year without one. Will continue to pray for you! Have a really blessed Christmas. Will you email me your new address?

  4. Hi Melissa,
    Thank you for sharing your heart.
    Trying to be faithful and consistent in our walk with God through life's difficulties is a challenge that is near and dear to all of our hearts. Chronic disease is blurry indeed. For me, systemic lupus was diagnosed due to blood work abnormalities and constant fatigue. The symptoms you have experienced (that I know about) seem to be classic. The book that was most helpful to me is called "The Lupus Book" by Daniel J.Wallace, M.D. I did not have joint pain.

    God bless and keep you trusting Him during this season.