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Since We’re Being Real

July 25, 2013

Going on the “better late than never” theory, I am finally publishing this post from APRIL 12 to my blog. (This is one of the posts I found saved as a draft.) Here it is:

With that last little disclaimer out of the way… who wants to hear about the recent antics of my ornery little digestive system?

Don’t worry. I’m not planning on giving you the gory details of my digestive dysfunction. But I am going to open up a little bit about the journey.

When we moved to Colorado Springs (almost 13 months ago), my health was notably improving. I had strictly removed gluten from my diet in December (after a diagnosis of celiac disease) and was beginning to feel much better. It was a night and day difference.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t quite on the glory-to-glory path that I hoped I was on. Almost immediately after I started working at Every Home for Christ, I started to feel quite sick and began to experience some of my scarier symptoms again. I won’t elaborate on those symptoms right now… but they were alarming.

I could not shake the feeling that it would be a really good idea to see a gastroenterologist and make sure that there wasn’t something serious that we were missing. But I also could not imagine paying to see a specialist at that time. Our finances were especially tight after our transition from IHOP-KC to Every Home for Christ. Thus began a really long year of wrestling and confusion.

Another factor in all of this is my family history. In fact, I never met my paternal grandmother because of colon cancer.

When you throw the idea of “colon cancer” into a swirl of alarming symptoms, it’s natural to be concerned. Actually, I’d say it is probably right to be concerned. But I really did my best to convince myself that I was childishly responding to fear and being overly dramatic about nothing.

For a little while, I started feeling significantly better again. Not completely better, but enough to get excited. I attributed most of this to our diet. (We cut out processed foods and other junk for a while. It really made a difference.) But I honestly felt more sick than I let on during that time of improvement. And it was so expensive to eat the way we were eating.

I started to really downplay how sick I was feeling every day. And, for the most part, I kept my mouth shut when anything happened that was alarming. I’d trudge through every day acting like I felt much better than I did. I would push myself to my physical limits (and beyond) and communicate as little as I could about how much pain I was in and how nauseated I was feeling. I didn’t pretend to be 100% great. I just did my best to never reveal the extent of any suffering. I hate feeling like a burden. And since I was still feeling better, it was easy to do. It was also easy to justify, as I told myself that Ben didn’t really need to suffer with me.

[Talk about needing to repent. I am truly ashamed of how willfully deceptive I have been over the last few months.]

Unfortunately, there have been some pretty rough side effects to hiding my pain from my husband. Especially noteworthy is the fact that I have been incredibly irritable. Actually, I’ve been flat out mean. I have been truly disgusted with myself on a daily basis. And I cannot seem to stop myself. Funny how you keep reaping the consequences of your sin while you continue choosing to sin.

And that is all I wrote on April 12. I realized, at this point, that I really needed to actually talk to my husband and repent before I blogged about it. What I didn’t realize is that I never went back to finish and post what I had written.

To quickly wrap things up, I will further say that Ben not know what I was really going through made him less than compassionate toward the suffering he knew nothing about. This only intensified my own frustration and irritability. Not a pretty picture.

Since then, I think that Ben and I can agree that I have been a much nicer person. Not perfect, but growing in love.

We also did a colonoscopy (thanks to a bunch of generous people) and found that everything was okay. This means I can easily shut down any fears of cancer when symptoms get scary. (It also means that I don’t have any of the answers I have sought for so long. But having cancer is a lot worse than wondering why I am so sick. I will write about the “mixed emotions” matter another time.)

Three posts is really pushing it for one day, but perhaps I will go back and post some of those other drafts later in the week.

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