Thursday, June 30, 2011

Blessed Beyond Measure

Getting up this morning I didn't particularly feel as if today was going to be a good day.  It's been a struggle for the past month to stay positive as I feel like I've got attacks coming from all sides.  Peace has been hard for me to find and the places that I usually ran to felt so far away.  I've felt secluded and unable to share what's going on with me because I don't want to remind people that I'm the "sick" one (as I heard myself being called by someone this month) or to become a topic of conversation in one of the little gossip circles around me that I want absolutely nothing to do with (I'd rather not know what's being said behind my back as is).  To put it simply, I'm drained.  I'd taken a few extra days off last week to clear my head but my plans fell through and I ended up stuck exactly where I was trying to get away from. By Sunday night I thought I was going to lose it... mentally or physically, whatever "flew off the handle" first.  All day Monday, I started planning my escape even if for no other reason that to bring myself sanity. 

Then it hit me... that first sense of peace. 

It wasn't the heavens opening up and it may sound silly to someone else but it was my first little bit of the healing that I so desperately needed.  I was standing in the kitchen after just getting home from waiting in my car for over two hours for my husband to get out of a meeting that should have been over two hours prior (while my groceries were sitting in the backseat).  The meeting didn't go very well (something that I'd been praying for different results for a long time) so needless to say it wasn't a fun car ride home.  Anyway, like I said, I was standing in the kitchen trying to get dinner done as quickly as possible just as I do every night in between the short few hours after I get home from work and my husband goes to bed.  Nothing out of the ordinary, the same job I do every night because according to someone, like it or not, it's my job.  Then the peace... my husband walks into the kitchen and says, "thanks for coming to get me today and for making dinner," then leans down and kisses me.  It wasn't much but it was exactly what I needed to hear at that moment.  Those simple words stopped me in my tracks and brought tears to my eyes.  I felt loved... the greatest of all gifts.

Today came the second blessing.  Like I said in the beginning.  I woke up this morning a little sassy.  There were still a lot of things weighing on me.  Yesterday was NOT a good day and I'd driven myself to pure silliness last night just to make it through.  Not things that I can go into because they are not my stories to share but all hurt me the same as if they were my own.  With that being said, I had a doctor's appointment this afternoon and due to my insanity lately, I hadn't gotten my blood drawn.  There was the issue of time but also that fact that I had two doctors requiring the same tests and then two different ones but from different clinics so I didn't know how I was going to manage to accomplish this without having to pay for one set out of pocket because of the duplicate test so I decided to just wait until I could figure it out.  Normally not such a big deal but today's appointment was with my hematologist... the blood doctor ;)  But Dr. L is a blessing on her own.  I wish she could be my doctor for everything.  She walks in the room today and asks me how I'm doing and I blurt out, "I didn't get my blood drawn."  She laughs and says, "Is that your big confession?"  Did I mention that I love her?!?!  Any other doctor in her profession would say, well what's the point of this appointment if I don't have blood to look at... but not Dr L.  She sits down and says, "now how are you really doing?"  This woman does not ask just to be nice, she expects me to tell her.  So I do.  All of the things that I have been holding back from everyone else in my life because she knows and understands what this horrible disease is doing to me on the inside and how all of the things on the outside truly make it worse.  She passes no judgement (she also counsels cancer patients after work and has told me that I'm welcome any time) because she knows that I am not looking for sympathy or to have my feelings held against me.  Then she tells me even though I'm not sure that the Humira is actually working that I look healthy for the first time in a long time and she's not worried that I'm going to collapse on her.  It means more than I can express and it gives me hope.  It's doctors like her that make living with a chronic illness bearable!!!

 Peace and hope... what more could one ask for :)  But wait, there's more!!!

Blessing #3 came this evening when I saw my husband walk through the door.  He was carrying 2 new sets of tools that he won today at work.  He was happy, I could tell, and that in itself is an unusual sight when work is involved.  As he sets down the tools he says, "I got a call from X today."  I immediately stop and give him my full attention knowing that this conversation could go only one of two ways... especially after the not so good meeting from Monday.  But as I look up, I see that my husband has a huge smile on his face and I know what he's going to say but I let him tell me anyway.  "Starting Monday I'm finally going to be a Journeyman,"  is all he says.  I'm still speechless, it's what I have been praying about for the last 2 years.  We don't know how it happened because this guy has been the #1 person stopping this from happening this entire time but it's finally happening.  I couldn't be more happy for him.  I give him double high-fives and a huge hug.  "So today's been a good day," I say to him.  "Today has been a great day," he replies.  That statement alone is almost another blessing in itself.

Peace, hope, and security.  What can I say, I'm blessed beyond measure!!!  In our darkest hour we learn that we are never forgotten, never forsaken, never alone. Take that grain of sand no matter how small and run with it, nurture it, watch it become beautiful again.

Well that's it for me tonight... it's injection time!!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

An Update Over Due

Can't believe it's almost been two months since my last post?!?!  What can I say, I'm a work in progress!!!  There's been so many times that I have sat down to update but most times I log on just to turn around and log back off because I'm not quite sure what to write.  It's not that I don't have a lot to say but I'm definitely one that likes to look towards the positive and to be honest... I'm just not feeling it.

Let's start from the beginning... I started Humira on April 14th. I do not want to go into the details (the main reason this post took so long) but let's just say those first 4 shots at the doctor's office were unnerving.  I thought that I was there for teaching and she would show me how for the first 6 shots (4 that day and 2, two weeks later) but after the first shot, it was all me. Ugh... I'm getting "butterflies" in my stomach just thinking about it again.  The injections hurt!!!  It's not just the shot but the medication itself hurts going into my body.  Not sure what I expected but it definitely wasn't that.  The nurse and I decided that maybe the hubby should do my injections for me going forward just so I wouldn't have to deal with psyching myself out and we could just get it over with.  Ever heard the saying, "paybacks are a..." well the hubby agrees 100% and has no problem giving me my shots.  The good part is though, is that he has just enough understanding for what I am going through with enough "no nonsense" to get business done.

We made it through the start up doses before we hit the first snag... I got a cold.  A cold has never been a big deal for me before but when you no longer have an immune system, everyone starts to get a little concerned. I got it right after my last start up dose and it had only gotten worse by the time it was time for my first maintenance dose (2 weeks later).  The Dr immediately said no to my next dose and that if it wasn't better in the next few days then they wanted to look at my white cell count. A few days later came and it was traveling into my chest. They sent me in to check for pneumonia and thank God, the x-rays came back negative.  It took another week before my Dr felt it was safe to try again.  An entire week later than I should have waited.  The big thing with Humira is that you need to keep a certain amount of it in your system at all times which is why you have to give yourself an injection every two weeks.  The Dr gives you 12 weeks to see if it's working well enough before they pull you off and I'd hate to go through all of this to have it not work because I can't take it like I'm supposed to.  Anyway, back on my doses again.  I don't really notice any difference but I can say that the 3 weeks that I was off of it, I was extremely tired again.  So even though I don't really feel it, it must be doing something :)

Other than that, I turned 30 on the 9th of May.  Age is definitely just a number to me but at the same time I really don't feel like I've been on this earth for 30 years.  How does it go by so fast?!?!  My hubby has now been apart of my life for half of it and we've been together 45% of it :)  How crazy is that!!!

Well I know there's more to catch up on but that's it for now, the time clock is calling my name :)