Today was hard. Really....really hard.
I got a phone call yesterday from my doctor's office. I recently had some blood work done because I was having some reoccurring symptoms that started up again even though they were much better after starting on my super strict elimination diet. I have also been starting to get more moody and anxious again which is typically a sign to me that my thyroid dose is off My doctor agreed, and so I had labs done last week. I was hopeful that maybe my dose just needed to be adjusted (really hopeful that because I was improving so much maybe I was being overdosed...aka the diet, supplements etc are working! That was best case scenario :)
When my doctor called yesterday they said they had cancellations for today and she would prefer to talk with me in person since I was having multiple issues. I told her I needed to find childcare, but I would call right back. My friend Angela graciously took the kids for me so I could drive down to Philly today.
Upon arrival I had my weight and blood pressure checked. I've lost 15 pounds...in 2 months! I don't own a working scale (my old eating disorder issues have led me to just not replace the batteries in it so I'm not tempted to walk that path again). I checked my weight when I went back to visit family in IL so I was aware, but what did I really expect....I literally can only eat meat, vegetables, and fruit. There really wasn't much choice I had in the matter, but to lose weight. My doctor seemed surprised, but wasn't too concerned. She confirmed that was a lot, and wanted to make sure I was ok with it. I am. I'm not at an unhealthy weight for my frame so that is good. My blood pressure also was low. It tends to be on the low end of normal, but never as low as it was today.
Blood work wise my thyroid is off alright, but not in the right direction. I have to increase my dose...again. Ugh! I'm so frustrated. I think mostly because my own hope and expectations were not in the right things. Ultimately I have been trusting my ability to be disciplined and have self control to adhere to this diets restrictions, and in my head I thought "ok I do this, and I will be better." In having those thoughts I forgot that this is a process, and that God is the ultimate healer. He is in control, not me.
I also got my adrenal tests back....basically I have pretty severe adrenal fatigue. My doctor was impressed that I actually can go to sleep. She said according to my results, my levels were so high I shouldn't be sleeping at all. It's really hard to adequately sleep when you work later into the evenings and you have a son named Alex who likes to still sporadically wake up and whine or if he is sick with the tiniest cold or God forbid teething.....it's like his whole world falls apart. I cope, and do the best I can, and try and be as consistent of parent as possible while still taking care of me, but getting less sleep as a mom just comes with the territory. She wants me to add more supplements for my adrenals.....more? I am already taking like 20. Sigh....
I've gotta be honest....the month of June was awesome. I've never felt better. My GI symptoms were completely gone, my brain fog was markedly improved, I had more energy than I can remember having for a long time, and then in July things kinda waivered a bit. I just can't for the life of me figure out which variable caused the changes that caused my GI issues to return. I had more stress with travel and all, also a new supplement was started in that time frame, I was eating some more different but approved fruits for my diet so maybe that did it, but somewhere in the middle of that I lost my vision. Fear started to creep in and replace faith, and hope that I had started to waiver. I started doubting. "What if I never get better?" "What if there is something else going on?" "What if I have to keep spending more money on more out of network tests, and more supplements...we can't do this for forever!" I got to a point where I thought maybe I had this things called Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth. I had all the symptoms, and it's common for people like me to have it, but then I started getting anxious, googling, etc, and I never should have gone down that path. I took my eyes off of God, and started focusing on fear, worrying, and how I can control this.
My doctor told me today that if my GI tract is still upset, than something I am eating is causing it. I'm reacting to what...one of the 5 foods I am allowed to eat?!? What in the world am I supposed to eat then?! She mentioned that not rotating foods can cause it as well. I was hopeful that maybe after 3 months (Labor Day) I would be able to start reintroducing things successfully, but I'm not sure that is going to happen now. She recommended another out of pocket tests (around $350) that would test for food sensitives, give me diet recommendations etc. The problem with this is it still only tests for 150 foods....that means there is still more guessing whether i press on with my current diet and a few restrictions or I spend more money. I can't spend more money on tests. Especially out of pocket ones so I'm praying I can figure this out without for now.
Upon leaving I learned that my doctor is going to be charging a $250 annual fee to help cover costs of care now. So in addition to paying a copay I now have to do that. I get it...I do. Her care is way more in depth than any other doctor I have ever seen before, because of that she spends more time with each patient and overall takes on less patients because of it. Again though at an already frustrating visit filled with not great news I wasn't happy to learn about spending more money.
I left the appointment and pretty much made it to my car crying with mascara dripping off my cheeks. I sat there knowing I couldn't drive home like that. There is no way I could control my tears safetly. I'm an external processor, and needed to just get it all out to someone. I was racking my brain of who I could call. I knew I couldn't call Dave. He was at work and there was no way he could handle the emotional unloading I needed to do in the moment while he was at work. I needed someone who could truly truly understand what I am dealing with, and I thought of my friend Jessica. One of the dear people God connected me with upon moving here who also has Hashimoto's and is working on healing her thyroid in some of the same ways I am. I was basically sobbing as she picked up the phone. God knew just what I needed though. She is one of the most prayer filled discerning people I know, and He just used her to fill me up in that moment enough to get me through my drive home. Reminded me through her of the spiritual attack that Satan was putting on me, that God is using this to get me to give him absolute control and trust over my whole being, and to let go.
God has taken good care of me today. I seriously left there feeling like I had been beaten up. So depleted. He used Jessica to draw me to himself, and my friend Angela again upon picking up the kids just sat and listened, and encouraged. Even this morning before I left a song played that I felt Him using directly to speak to my heart and encourage it:
He let Alex sleep well enough this afternoon that I got a nap too, and had enough wisdom to text Dave and warn him before He got home of my emotional state so he wouldn't walk in the door, and be greeted with an overly emotional highly irritable wife. Dave was so calm which was welcome to me. Encouraging. Reminded me that this is a process, and really I have only been doing his for 2 months....to not expect so much so soon. His understanding hasn't always been the case. He has struggled to understand my disease and it's effects on me especially since it mostly manifests itself in psychological symptoms in me. So just hearing encouraging words from him was healing in more way than one.
On my way home, I drove past this old barn. Broken down, falling over, and falling apart, but still I could not take my eyes off of it's one rock, solid, stone wall standing firm. Immediately I was reminded of the verse in Isaiah that tells us God will bring beauty from ashes. I thought of verses that speak of the beauty and new growth He breaths from pain, and destruction. I thought of how He is our strong tower, and though the winds and storms come, and hard parts of us are chiseled away, He still stands. He, our tower still remains. When we are in Him, Satan cannot destroy us. I am safe, because of Him, because even when things in this life cause us harm, destroy, or tear down....it doesn't matter, because I am a child of God, I get to live forever, victoriously with Him!
He still stands.
My Rock still remains even when everything else around me crumbles.
And so I take one step forward, even when I feel like I've taken 3 steps back, and I press on, and I readjust my compass, and I look up, and bathe this whole entire thing in more prayer than ever, and lay it down again...and again. As many times as I have to.
Lord make me whole. For as much as this is about a physical healing in me, it's even more so about your healing my heart.
My plans in the days to come, are to press into Him more. Let Him be a part of every intricate decision in this process. As I spent sometime today with Him, reevaluating things, I am going to start with going back to eliminating the supplements I added on in July, and possibly step back from some of the fruits I have reintroduced to see if that doesn't settle things down.
Time to press on, and try again!