Monday, February 13, 2017

Two Red Lines

The pained look from my Lyme symptoms no longer stains my face. Strangers and loved ones alike say I look happier, healthier, and bright. (Their words… not mine!) They say I have glow about me – little do they know it’s because of you. I don’t even know you yet, but I can’t wait to meet you, and hold you and kiss you and THANK YOU!

Trust me when I say, you saved my life. My perspective will never be quite the same. Sweet child of mine, you have been a part of me for just under 8 weeks. You are merely the size of a blueberry but your impact has been nothing shy of profound. You see, before you came along, I was sick. Very sick. I was jaded and felt so betrayed by my own body. It was attacking itself and refusing to heal. I was withering away – I had lost over 20 pounds and the pain – oh the pain I suffered was excruciatingly torturous. And then suddenly, after 18 months of unceasing, unimaginable pain and distress, I felt -- better – for no apparent reason. I was shocked. I thought it was a fluke at first, a much needed break perhaps. I waited on pins and needles in anticipation of the shooting, stabbing pain to return and radiate throughout my body … but it didn’t. The days of relief turned into weeks --- I thought maybe a recent fever I spiked had triggered my immune system and flushed out the bacteria. Or perhaps the warmer weather gave my joints just enough relief for the inflammation to subside. Or maybe the strict anti-inflammatory diet in conjunction with the nerve pain medicine and the steroids was finally doing the trick. I knew it was by the grace of God that I felt healed, but I still wanted some sort of tangible explanation. 

The proof came in the form of two red lines on a Dollar Tree pregnancy test. Make that three cheap pregnancy tests and then the word “PREGNANT” plastered on the side of not one but two of the "expensive tests". I just kept taking tests because I could. not. believe. it! We had been praying for a miracle for quite some time -- but we had no idea it would be you! I was only a day late, but decided to take a test anyway since I was on so much medication that could be harmful to a little baby like you.

The pregnancy hormones are keeping my Lyme symptoms at bay – the same hormones that make me a little grouchy and tired and nauseous  – the ones that are working to provide for and create you -- they are also giving me relief! What a freakin’  miracle. You, my love, ARE a miracle!

At first, we called you our “maybe baby” because we seriously couldn't believe it! Now, your daddy calls you “Sprout” while we toss around baby names. We should find out the gender in just over a month or so, and we will pick your real name then. 

We heard your heartbeat for this first time last week, and it was incredible. You were just a little blurry blob on the screen, but your heartbeat was a strong 150 BPM. We have started sharing this wonderful news with our closest family and friends, but we can’t wait to shout it from the rooftops and blast it all over social media! You are so loved already, and together we will have a pretty awesome life! I’ll teach you what I know, and you’ll help me learn what I don’t. I seriously can’t wait to meet you! 

(written in late January at 7.5 weeks pregnant) 

Friday, February 3, 2017

You Aren't Wealthy Until ...

The new IDS wasn't helpful at all, but they rarely are down here in the South -- at least in my experience. There are so many misconceptions surrounding Lyme disease -- it has been difficult to find someone who knows enough to actually be helpful and also has the bandwidth to accept new patients -- and don't even get me started on insurance. I will admit, this doctor's appointment wasn't nearly as devastating as those in the past, because this was my first appointment that I was symptom free. Oh -- I am still on cloud 9 relishing in every pain-free second! It is one thing to hear a specialist with 30+ years' experience tell you there is nothing he can do when you aren't currently suffering -- it is something completely different when they tell you that and you are suffering from 5-7 severe symptoms a day and have already received the only treatment available.

This disease can be ugly -- it is scary and overwhelming and devastating -- but it has shown me so much beauty. Beauty in others -- like complete strangers that held the door open for me when I didn't have the strength, or the countless number of people that helped me stand up when I couldn't bare the pain on my own. Our support system is filled with the most loyal and loving friends, family and coworkers. My family has been so incredibly supportive, and my husband is hands down sent by the grace of God.

God may not have placed the perfect health care professional in my life (just yet!) -- but he gave me a best friend years ago that later became my husband and vowed to love me in sickness & in health -- and boy did he deliver!

My sweet Shane is the man my parents always prayed I would find -- one that loves me for all of me. He took care of me for days weeks months on end without ever complaining or making me feel ashamed. It was as if he didn't even consider any other option. He avidly researched my symptoms, numerous diseases, supplements and treatments for countless hours. Lifting me in and out of his truck, driving me to a ridiculous number of appointments, carrying me up the stairs, sleeping hand-in-hand with me on the couch when I couldn't muster the strength to even be carried up the stairs, willingly sacrificing sleep, money, social life, work, free-time, himself --- sacrificing EVERYTHING for me. He is the most pure and loving man -- kind and loyal to a fault, and I am forever grateful for his love and dedication!

PS -- He is going to hate me for writing all of this.