These past seven months since my last posting have been focused more on Victoria Nicole than on my own personal victory over my health problems. Of course, that has involved finding out more of how to treat my problems so my body will function better to support her tiny developing body, although some of what I need to do must wait until after she is born. Now I’m quite literally just sitting around waiting for Victoria’s arrival. The doctor has been telling me for a couple of weeks now “any day….” Any day will someday become today, and we’ll finally get to see this miracle baby that seven months ago I really did not expect to live. God is so good to our family. We can all hardly wait to meet our newest treasure. After spending only a day or two researching adrenal fatigue and pregnancy, I stopped reading when I found a list of could be’s of a baby born to a mother with adrenal fatigue and began trusting that Victoria will live up to her name and my present theme in life (Anticipating Victory), no matter what her future holds. She could, in fact, be completely healthy and normal—that is certainly what we are praying for! Her very life is a victory in itself, and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for our precious Victoria Nicole.
I Peter 4:12-13 has been on my mind recently: Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. I don’t know why the Lord allowed this health trial to enter my life, and I must admit that I’ve often thought of it as “strange.” I have come to the point of understanding that even though I feel like I’ve been put on the shelf, rendered practically useless, God has a reason and He will be glorified in it if I will allow Him to glorify Himself in me. After all, the life verse I chose as a teenager is still my desire: Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven. Matthew 5:16
Update on what has been going on over the past seven months:
In December, we realized that I was not really making any improvements and only growing weaker by the day, so we made the tough decision to take a one-year medical furlough to look for some help in the United States. Realizing we were expecting another little one played a big part in that decision, as it became not just my life in danger, but the baby’s as well. By the time we got here in mid-January, I weighed the same as I did at our wedding 8 ½ years before, after 4 children and at 17 weeks pregnant. I was so weak I could hardly stand without leaning against the wall, and my appetite was almost non-existent; really, I only ate to keep the baby alive. If I took a look in the mirror (which I tried to avoid doing), I had the feeling that a ghost was staring out at me with paper-white skin and lips, sunken eyes, and a look of despair and confusion. I could hardly hold a reasonable conversation and usually rehearsed in my mind what I wanted to say to someone: heaven forbid someone change the subject on me or throw out an unexpected question! For the first couple of months after our arrival, if I went out with the family, we borrowed a wheelchair; mostly I stayed home and pushed myself to go to church and sit in the balcony, as far away as possible from the overwhelming crowd of people and dangers of perfume.
It was good to get back and let my Mom help my husband take care of me. The children are definitely not suffering for love, even if Mommy can’t do and be all she wants to for them—there’s Nana to fall back on. My oldest got to go to “real” school (even though I must argue that homeschooling IS real school), and all my kids are enjoying their individual classes at church. I do appreciate the opportunity to put the littlest ones into nursery so I can put my full attention on the church service. It is been a blessing to be surrounded by people who love and pray for us, even though we all terribly miss our home and the people we minister to in Moldova.
Our first step once we got here, after getting over the flu we managed to pick up enroute, was to find a natural doctor that could help me. We prayed much, and the Lord kept pointing me to one in Rocky Mount, so we went. He was a direct answer to prayer. As a Christian doctor, he prayed over me and assured me that he would continue in prayer for me—he has even called to check on me and remind me he’s praying! He looked over my hair analysis results and did his own diagnostic testing, which was in agreement: my adrenal glands simply weren’t functioning and my body simply wasn’t digesting what little food I was forcing myself to eat. Looking back now, I realize that I had been slowly dying. I’m so glad the Lord spared me and directed me to a doctor who recognized what was going on and knew of a supplement company that would be safe for me with all my allergies (did I mention that I was allergic to the first brand of supplements I tried, recommended by the lab for the very problems I was diagnosed with?). After only a short time of taking food enzymes and adrenal support supplements (later adding in a few others until I’m up to 6 kinds, with a total of 13 capsules per day), I began to gain weight—yay for baby!—, got some color back into my face, and was able to drag myself out of bed more frequently.
The next step was a very special type of chiropractor, one who focuses on the nervous system and opening up the nerve pathways so that natural healing power from the brain can move downward to work on sick and failing organs. This doctor, by the way, is also a Christian, and his goal in life is to help people live up to their full, God-given potential in order to better serve Him. Just the kind of attitude I like to see in a doctor, since that’s what I want as well! A thermograph test showed pressure on the nerves leading to each of the organs/systems that were failing or not functioning properly, and he began making spinal adjustments three times a week (I am presently down to twice a week). Much of the pressure is due to a mild scoliosis that a previous chiropractor had diagnosed but told me it would “never cause a problem.” Hah! While researching adrenal fatigue, I discovered that I’ve had underlying signs of adrenal problems since my early teen years, but we just blamed it on my not being naturally strong physically. It’s kind of interesting to know that all these little idiosyncrasies about me are all related!
Now, I would like to share a list of “small” victories with you. I put “small” in quotes because these are all BIG to me, but I realize that for most people, each of my victories is just part of ordinary life.
- I’ve been migraine-free since my first spinal adjustment.
- I can walk around the store for more than just a few minutes at a time.
- I can hold a conversation without completely losing my train of thought (most of the time, anyway).
- Confusion is kept at bay (until almost time for the next dose of my adrenal supplement).
- I can go into a store and purchase what I need and leave without wandering around trying to decide exactly what I must buy and without being so overwhelmed I just leave with nothing.
- I can read with understanding, and I actually want to read again.
- I can tell you about yesterday.
- I can drive 4 miles down the road to the library/Walmart/Food Lion and drive home, all by myself or just with the older kids.
- My eyes don’t constantly look wild (only when I’m at the end of my adrenal supplement), nor are they sunk back into my head.
- I don’t have to put on make-up to try add some color to the ghost-skin or to cover up blotchy allergy rashes.
- The heart palpitations have calmed down, occurring only at explainable moments. Please don’t wake me up when I’m sleeping!
- My thyroid numbers are in the normal range.
- My body is digesting food again, my weight gain is good for the baby, and I have re-established hunger patterns.
- I am better able to control my emotions. I still struggle sometimes, but no longer feel out-of-control. Praise the Lord for that one!
- I am not overwhelmed in a crowd.
- I no longer panic at every turn.
- Reactions to perfumes and chemical odors do not control me; I am usually able to overcome the reactions rather quickly.
- The suddenly terrible seasonal allergies I suffered with last year early spring till late fall were almost non-existent this spring.
- The allergy rash on my forehead and cheeks is gone.
- I’ve been able to a few delete a few things off of my very long food allergy list, such as cinnamon, apples (organic only), and strawberries (organic only). Every little bit I can add back into my diet does make a difference in the monotony! It also helps that there is a greater variety of vegetables to choose from here in the States than what I can get in Moldova. I now LOVE sweet potatoes!
- My pupils dilate and contract according to lighting, rather than staying permanently dilated.
- I can step outdoors into the sunlight without a hat and sunglasses.
- Even though I still struggle daily in this battle, I can look at my future with hope rather than despair.
All glory goes to God, the one Who has saved my soul, preserved my life, and directed me to just the right doctors to put me on the path to healing. Whether I spend my days counting long lists of “small” victories, or at some point get to combine them all together into the desired major victory of complete healing, I will live the rest of my life victoriously, praising God for the great things He has done! Why? Because God is GOOD, He loves me, and I belong to Him!