Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Be Still and Know

It's been a long time since I've last blogged. I've had many things to talk about but have never had the time to sit and write. Or, I have had the time but never the urge to.

Today's blog is a little different. I hope you will sit and read until the end.

I've been suffering from moderate to severe chronic back pain over the past few years. A crack here and there (more like everyday) would give a sense of relief, even if just for 5 minutes. I would go for massages that again would send relief for that one hour and maybe a few moments off the table, but nothing, not even pain killers would really rid me of the pain. I've gone for many tests from xrays to MRIs to blood work... nothing would be found except chronic whiplash. Snowboarding is my guess.

After all my whining and crying to my doctors I was booked to see a rheumatologist. It took about 5 months after to see her. She did what all doctors do; asked a lot of questions. After we went through my family history she suggested I have a Spinal Inflammatory Disease that is in the same gene as Crohn's Disease, which my younger sister Emily ( The Upside Downside ) has unfortunately been struggling with for several years now, and Ulcerative Colitis, which my grandmother passed away from.

I am still undergoing some tests and awaiting some results. In the interim I am a guinea pig to myself and trying several medications to help with my symptoms. The rheumatologist started me off on Celebrex for inflammation and Ventolin for my shortness of breath. None, of which seem to be working.

Over the weekend I spent a couple of nights crying unable to sleep because the pain was just so bad, I had to go back to the doctors. He then prescribed with Prednisone (a steroid) which I declined. I declined it because of its side effects, knowing as my sister is on it right now. Until the results confirm my disease, I'd prefer to hold off until then. Instead, I was given Hydromorphone (Morphine), Nortriptyline (yes, that is an anti-depressant, but also used for chronic pain), and Ziplicone (a non-benzodiazepine hypnotic as a sleep aid).

At first I was hesitant in taking any of these and perhaps choosing which to take, but I haven't slept in days and the pain is just exasperating. I haven't been able to go to work for a few days and though at home, I haven't been able to do much more than lay in bed or sit on the couch, though both aggravate it as well.

As much as a nuisance this has become, it all became worse when my doctor told me that I need to stop working out. That working out will only increase the inflammation and make everything so much more painful and harder to treat. I'm not going to lie. I cried.

You see, working out is not just a hobby for me. Its a lifestyle. Its what got me over the hump of depression when my mom died 2 years ago. When I was on the cusp of depression, I decided to run it off. And you know what? It worked! I became a much happier and healthier person. I even started training others and went for my certification. Its what I love doing and talking about. In all my life I struggled to find the one thing I loved to do... and now that I found it, I'm told I cannot do it anymore. Even my job at the hospital is physical. There's only so much modified work you can do in physiotherapy, and too be honest, if I was to sit and make photocopies, I would have gotten a desk job to begin with.

And then it hit me. I'm a Christian. I believe in God. I believe that He sent His son Jesus here to save me. To forgive me of my sins. To be my comforter. My refuge. My strength. When my mom died, I never cursed Him. I was angry and I didn't want to talk to Him as much. But I didn't curse Him. I didn't ever say that I hated Him or didn't want to have anything to do with Him anymore. I never said it. But, I chose it in my actions. I chose exercise as my healer. I chose exercise as my passion. I chose exercise as I made it a priority when I had extra time in my day. I made time for it. I made a heck of a lot of time for it. I spent a heck of a lot on money on it. I chose it.

I feel like God is stopping me in my tracks right now. I know over the past few months, I thought of it; that I gave exercise more time than God. Some days I would make sure I put in some God time. But it was never such devoted time like I would put in at the gym. Had I given God proper devoted time, maybe, just maybe it wouldn't have gotten to the point where He needed to stop me completely to get my attention. He wants to be my source of happiness and health.  He wants to be what I love talking about. I should be doing His will and training others up in Him. I need to get my priorities straight. There's an opportunity for me to do both. But I need to make sure it's in His will and He is put first.

I'm not saying that all sicknesses and illnesses are a form of punishment, but I do know for myself, it is a wake up call. As much I like to say that exercising got me through it all, had it not been for God Himself, I wouldn't have had the strength to carry myself through. It was always Him. I need to never forget that.

"I can do all things through Christ who gives me the strength." Philippians 4:13

Here I am, Lord.

Thanks for reading! :)