chronic illness

Surgery Success

Today was the day my lipomas were removed, but it wasn’t an easy journey to get here.

I have been sick for the last week and yesterday it became worse. I haven’t been able to do anything; photography, blogging, nothing but sleep.

The closest thing to the outdoors has been my porch. This is a new addition that we just got in September of 2017. Mothers Day my family bought me two hanging baskets. That’s also the day when my allergies kicked in, making the cold I had already worse, then triggering a horrible flare. We almost had to call the surgery off. So the fact that I am feeling better right after surgery is a good sign of the success of removing four lipomas. They originals thought I had two but I had two others deeper into the muscle…..hmmm…..no wonder why I have been having so much back pain.

I also received news that I will be having two other procedures simultaneously June 1st; a hydrodistention for my interstitial cystitis and a removal of possible endometriosis. This will make my fourth hydrodistension and my eighth laparoscopy for endometriosis. I may have those numbers wrong because of I honestly am not completely sure if that is correct. This is also very overwhelming for me and stressful. My husband is still having to stay home to help me because it will still be a while until I am fully healed from all these procedures I have had the last six months. But I also know that God is good and there is a reason for anything and I know this by personal experience. Staying in Gods word and talking with him on a daily bases has been the key, and because of this, he blesses us in return.

“A faithful man will abound with blessings, But he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.” -Proverbs‬ ‭28:20‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

So incredibly thankful for this essential oil blend. This last month and a half has been a hard one with lots of emotions, and this bottle has helped balance them. Getting older as a woman is hard, and this will be your best friend for many years.

So now it is time to rest, and get some schoolwork done. Thank you all for the prayers and remember, stay strong through achieved trials God has given you.

My Adventures, Uncategorized

Better Day.

What a wonderful after being extremely sick for the last three weeks. Today was my husbands birthday so we enjoyed the sunshine at one of our favorite towns. Felt so good to get out and about. Doesn’t that quinoa bowl look amazing! I brought half of it home for dinner.

About a week ago I decided to go gluten free and it’s already shown a huge difference, and most of my clothes are extremely loose. I guess I have a excuse to go shopping for new clothes. Hubby actually insisted on a beautiful black dress that was on clearance and a necklace he thought was perfect for me. I am excited to wear it for Mother’s Day and the ladies tea at church.

Like I said, the last the last three weeks have been rough. The first two was a fibromyalgia flare, followed by four days of sore muscles, nausea and migraines, and all the sudden I was just tired and yesterday everything happened at once. I finally went to the doctor and they thought I maybe had diverticulitis but thankfully I didn’t. It’s been rough and at nights it’s the worse, and I feel like giving up, but having my husband next to me every night and comforting me and lifting me up in Christ, I know that I must give this trial to God because he knows my future.

My family has been my rock. We spend all of our time together when the girls aren’t in school, which may change next school year depending if the girls want to be homeschooled or not; right now it’s up to them and based on my health and what God wants us to do. We have our little spits and arguments but we always come back together. Family is extremely important to my husband and I because we never had a strong family growing up. So far, I have literally everything I ever dreamed of.

Even though I struggle through my chronic illnesses, I know I must pick myself up and continue. Through prayer, I am able to bring myself together and move on. It’s never been that way, and it has meant I have had to give up many things that were of the world, but it’s been worth it.

Through the blood of Jesus Christ all my sins have been washed away, and because of that I am free and wish this upon everyone. I have fallen rock bottom many times but God picks me up when before I relied on other people or myself which made it even harder. God is the answer. Better is one day in his courts, as the worship song says.

Uncategorized

Faith

img_3253

Today has already been a rough day. The pain has been great, and honestly I have had a little trouble emotionally. I prayed to God asking what I should do to help me get through this, and He answered that I should focus on sharing my faith and story. It’s easy for me to get caught up with the fact that my body is going against me and I want to just bawl in bed, but instead I am praying every time I feel like crying, and God gives me peace.

Faith is something that I haven’t always had during my now decade long journey of chronic illnesses, and I can tell you during the time without it, I was miserable. With me being miserable, my family was miserable also. Without God, I can’t get through these trials.

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of our faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that hew ill receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. -James 1:1-8 NKJV

Because I remain in faith, God has been showing me how faithful and righteous He really is. I am personally experiencing what the Bible tells us we will. He has even opened doors for me and my family that I never thought were a option. God’s plan and timing is perfect, and once we acknowledge that, you will feel peace as well. It breaks my heart when a fellow brother or sister in Christ loses their faith because of impatience. God’s timing is perfect, and many times He may say no to something we personally feel is best for us. God knows our future and by faith He will help us through this journey.

Faith is so important, it clearly states it in the book of James. Have you fully given your trials to God, or are you trying to tackle them yourself?

-Shanell

Uncategorized

Another Rollercoaster

Today I had my follow-up for my spine injections. I had my second injection just about three weeks ago and the relief was none. My doctor is now sending me to a neurosurgeon for an opinion as to what the next path of treatment will be.

img_3236

Yay! (😒) Just another specialist to add to my crazy list of doctors who are part of my chronic illness journey. Friday I see the general surgeon for the lipomas on my back, so that should be interesting. Meanwhile while waiting for my doctor to come into my exam room, my gynecologist who specializes in over half of my invisible illness gave me the news that I have a bladder infection inside of my bladder that’s diseased with interstitial cystitis, which explains why I am having horrible pain around my pelvic area. Oh! And I am still waiting on rheumatology.

img_3237-1

Truth be told, I’m scared. My pain is an eight and goes up to a ten at night. All of my body had been in some sort of flare for five days now. My degenerative disc disease and bluffed discs at L4/S1 are is creating my left leg to go dead and pain in my left hip, that is flaring up my pelvic floor myalgia, the bladder is flared from the infection, and all of those flared up my fibromyalgia. Yesterday I slept all day and couldn’t even leave my bed. So yeah, I’m all sorts of flares! img_3201

Life isn’t easy. The trials we face are of all different sorts which teach us lessons as we go through the journey. When my journey all started ten years ago and they kept telling me that I needed to see multiple specialists, I would immediately go into a panic attack, but today I didn’t. Today was different and there was just one reason why: my relationship with God. Plus the fact my husband is with me, that always helps. img_3239

The closer I have become to God the easier my life has become, but that doesn’t just come freely. It’s a relationship, a continuous and faithful one at that. That’s what gives me this freedom. As relationships with others consist of mutual love and respect, it is the same with our relationship with God. If we expect something from God yet don’t give him what He has clearly written in God’s Word (trust, faith in Him, the list goes on), that’s not truly a relationship with Him. Do you constantly ask your friends or spouse to do something and when they ask of something of you, you completely ignore it? Is that a relationship? Nope.

img_3098-1

Because I have been listening to Gods Word and trusting what it says and Him in general, I have been able to get through my trials and this journey much better. It has also opened many doors for me and our family in ways I can’t even imagine. Sure, I’m being sent to yet another specialist and am not healed or even close to it, but I trust His plan because He is the maker of me and my future. I have no right to intervene with our maker, and He knows what’s best for me. I used to fight and try to solve issues by my own ways, and it would just cause me further pain, both emotionally and physically. But once I gave my trust unto God, I have peace because when I pray, and I mean truly pray and have a full conversation with God, and after learning how to discern His voice, I know everything will be ok and He is using these trials to help others and to show me where He wants to use me in this world.

One learns the deepest meaning of faith during the biggest trials of their lives. Sure, this is going to be a new and crazy rollercoaster ride because of the new specialists being added, but I’m ready. I am chronically faithful and forever will be because my future has already been written and He is showing me a little at a time.

Uncategorized

A Glimmer of Hope and Grace

img_3066

With this being the first time writing about the Daily Prompt, I wanted to make sure it came from my heart.

God’s unwavering grace has been glimmering all around me, and it wasn’t until December I started to notice that this glimmer of light was always there, especially during the darkness that tainted my way of thinking and viewing my life.

I am only 28 years old and my life has been nothing compared to what I had planned for myself. I never planned on becoming ill, let alone be set with chronic invisible illnesses to the point of disability. The plan was to complete college and find my dream career, or so I thought.

10 years ago when my journey of chronic illness began, I never would’ve pictured myself where I am today. The trials are hard, and my faith remained broken, until I cried out unto God when my flesh could no longer take the pain. All this time, there was a glimmer of His Grace out there, but my eyes were to busy focusing on what can’t be changed or fix instead of what I can do with His help. I love the story of Peter when he saw Jesus walking on water. I can relate to this account with my own personal experiences on more than one occasion.

Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. -Matthew 14: 26-33 NKJV

Jesus was the glimmer that Peter could see, but the second he took his eyes off of it, and focused on the wind (the darkness), he began to sink.

I am still in my storm, but instead of focusing on the strong winds and giant pounding waves of pain, my focus is set on the glimmer of light, Jesus Christ. I have found new hobbies that I greatly enjoy such as reading and writing, and am currently taking courses to broaden my knowledge further and to become a much better writer, and very possibly make a career out of it; whatever God has planned for me. I am no longer pursuing college, but focusing on God, my family and being a Proverbs 31 woman. And here’s the thing. The closer you get to Him, that glimmer becomes a shimmer, and soon a beautiful glistening glow that you give off yourself.

Focus on the glimmer of hope and His grace that is ahead, and you will not sink.

via Daily Prompt: Glimmer

Uncategorized

Welcome to my life of Chronic Illness

img_2902

It’s been difficult for me to write recently. Fibro fog has been attacking me the last week while the rain and snow continues to come down. But, God called me to share my story, share my thoughts and share His word with those who feel how I feel many times. Lonely.

I have been fighting chronic and invisible illnesses for a while now. It all started with endometriosis 10 years ago, and today I have now added fibromyalgia, pelvic floor dysfunction, interstitial cystitis, degenerative back disease, chronic and atypical migraines, alone with all the emotional and mental illness that comes with the rest of my medical problems, and I am not afraid to share: PTSD with dissociative traits (thanks to childhood abuse, my daughter’s medical and abusive from a ex), Chronic Depression and Severe Anxiety. I am actually still battling endometriosis. That’s the facts, I am not ashamed and welcome to my life. I am sure there are many others who are trying to get through life like me, and I am here to tell you one thing:  you are not alone, even though you may feel like it.img_1610

The last 2 years is when everything came to knowledge of my doctors and when my body really started to get bad, but of course it wasn’t without a fight. Invisible Chronic Illnesses many doctors and practitioners don’t believe are real and then send the patient off to a psychologist or counselor. THAT IS NOT OKAY, and you should never give up! I fight on a daily basis to put a smile on my face as I send my children off to school even though the pain is excruciating. I have had to cancel multiple times with people, business functions (can’t even work my business because of my health), even church functions, and many have given up on even calling, texting or coming to see me.

Now, I am not saying this for pity, I am far from that. This is my life and I am okay with it because I trust in Jesus and His plan for me. Yes, I hurt all day, every day because I choose not to take certain medications that make me feel worse. I have turned to God more than ever. I grew up in church, even though my family atmosphere was far from a Christian household, but I held onto my faith. My oldest daughter was born with a Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia and her medical journey was stressful, and caused lots of stress between me and her father. The abuse from him continued, he refused to believe I truly had my medical conditions and were never there for my procedures, and I literally lost it. Yup, I have had my share of emotional breakdowns, but this was by far the worse. I gave up, went down a dark hole of depression and lost my faith, until I met my husband. Now, we have the family that I always dreamed of, and our blended family is beautiful. I had given up the idea of having another child due to my infertility from the endometriosis, but God gave me my younger daughter Ashley when I met my husband.

img_2668

The last 4 years my husband Rick has been a saint, and just in the last year, we both have found our faith together and our family has seen the power of Jesus work in our lives. He is always there for me, he goes with me to my appointments and asks his own questions. When I am stuck in bed, he cares for me. God truly sent me him for a reason, and I love him so much.

Due to the fact that Adam and Eve sinned, many people live with illness. What I find the hardest is that us with chronic illnesses that are invisible are told we are faking or over reacting for attention. If they could only step into my shoes and feel the pain and battles we face every day. But I will not allow my illness to keep me from serving the Lord in our youth ministry.

img_1600

So I will end with this. Don’t give up, I know its hard and many times you feel like the world is going to end. Give it to God. Maybe you aren’t a Christian and don’t understand how He can help us. I lost my faith and my life became worse, my physical and mental health became worse from stress, but then Jesus made it clear that He was calling me back to Him and since, I have been able to make it through the battles. It’s still hard, i’m not going to lie about that, but I know that Jesus is my protector, and when He comes back to save his church, there will be no more sickness or pain.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working or us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

Love and God Bless!

img_1601

Uncategorized

I Made It Through

Today marked my 6th pelvic floor injection. I have suffered from pelvic floor myalgia for at least 3 years but believe more. Physical therapy didn’t do anything so the injections were the only option. And yup, that is the needle used (ouch! What is that, a foot long?)

Once a week, multiple injections and excruciating pain, but I made it through, but this isn’t the end of the journey. Not only do I suffer from pelvic floor dysfunction, I have been battling endometriosis for 10 years and Interstitial Cystitis. So I have a month and if the pain continues, they are going back in laparoscopically to check for endometriosis and to give me a hydrodistention for my IC. That would make it my 7th endo procedure and my 4th hydrodistention. But I must remember Proverbs 17:22 that states “A merry heart does good, like medicine but a broken spirit dries the bones.”

God has a plan for me. Yes He has the power to heal me, but everything that is and is to come is all for God, and I am trusting Him through it all. I will continue to be chronically faithful to Him and His plan for me.