For the past few days I’ve been trying figure out what to put in my 666th post on my blog.
It hit me during a class at church today:
JESUS LOVES YOU.
My ultrasound was this morning.
Now the wait is on to see whether or not I have gallstones. Personally, I vote for not. As grateful as I am for the weight loss (I’ve lost MORE weight)… I’m ready to be over all of this. So, as I wait to find out the verdict, I’ve decided to give thanks to God for things I DON’T have, so that when it’s all over and done with I can add: Thank you God I don’t have gallstones.
(I used to have ALL of these in my last place, but don’t have them anymore)
To head up my top ten Thank You LORD I Don’t Have This list:
1. cane spiders!!!
6. a leaking roof
7. a sugar cane field in my backyard. (No more night time burning!!!!)
8. flying roaches (This was cuter. My skin was starting to crawl).
9. flooding driveway
10. falling fence (over 7 feet tall and right next to my car)
THANK YOU JESUS for ALL of the stuff I no longer have!!! And I pray that I can gallstones to the list!
Tomorrow I go for my ultrasound
because ignorance is NOT bliss.
I need to know.
I also know that some people think it’s wrong,
but I’ve decided not to have surgery.
I really don’t have a peace
They leave so many questions
left unsansweredThe God I serve -
the one who is able to heal
hasn’t healed me
despite three trips under the knife.
Three separate surgeries
have left me feeling far older
than my age.
Well I grown leery of the knife
and I grow weary of waiting.
Not because I don’t trust God.
But in dealing with some of his people who
don’t understand that,
for whatever reason,
God has chosen not to heal me.
It doesn’t mean that I lack faith in him.
It means that for now, his grace
must be sufficient.
It means that I have to wait.
Until such a time as he heals me
I will wait on him.
He has called me out onto the waters
to be tested by ill health
I don’t like
but I refuse to sink…
And he won’t let me.
I stopped cooking when I got sick over the Christmas break. Most of the stuff I cook made me nauseous or worse. Not the best way to jump start a diet… but it has given me pause. I’m leery about putting any food in my mouth so I was down to a pretty skimpy menu. I found out purely by accident that I can eat Lean Cuisine meals and (for the most part) not get sick.That’s what I’ve been eating for most of my meals for the past month which was easy since I pack my lunch and I eat dinner at home.
Friday, I faced my first real challenge: my boss took a bunch of us out to lunch. I considered packing my lunch and sneaking it it because I was afraid I’d end up sick. I really didn’t want to be faced with temptation so early on because I KNEW I wasn’t going to be able to resist anything suitably meaty. If rack of ANYTHING had been on that menu I was going to be a goner. I wouldn’t be able to resist it and even as I licked my fingers and wiped the grease off my chin, I’d feel the tell tale signs of illness and have to embarrass myself as I waddled off to go throw up in the bathroom. Everybody would think I was bulimic on top of all the other issues I have.
I cringed when I looked at the menu. There were many things on it that I would have happily inhaled given the chance. When they put bread and butter followed by a big plate of waffle fries in front of me I winced. With all that wincing and cringing that I was doing they must have thought I’d developed a nervous tick too. Oh! The HORROR! Only in a western country would this even be an issue. I’m so ashamed.
I ordered a salad.
I NEVER order salads as the main entree. Salads need to know their place. They are to be the nondescript afterthought. The sidekick. If it were in a movie, the salad would be the extra that got killed off before the end of scene one. We went to a steak house once and I didn’t want to order the salad bar because I didn’t want to waste any space. Lunch with the boss? All I could think of was throwing up during the Christmas break. I couldn’t order what I wanted to order… but some puny little salad was not going to hit any spots. Seems like apologies are in order.
The salad was massive.
Probably to make up for the fact that my boss was paying good money for me to eat grass. No bacon. No eggs. No cheese. I took a few bites and then waited to see if it was going to stay put. It actually tasted really good and it had chicken in it, so I felt better. I looked around the table. I was surprised that I could be sitting at a table full of people eating stuff I would have liked to have eaten and not feel deprived or starved. I could not, however, pass up the fries. They were sitting in front of me calling my name. I only had a few but, like the salad, they were pretty massive. I was afraid that I’d immediately feel the chest pains followed by all the waddling, but I felt nothing. I thanked God that I could actually enjoy a few french fries without getting sick.
I know I cannot go back to my old way of eating, but how far into this new lifestyle do I want to go? How far does God want me to go. I sincerely hope that honoring him with my body isn’t going to mean that I have to give up everything that I love. I hope it’s more of a moderation thing. I do realize that I’m a long way away from being able to handle eating out. I had self-control then, but I cannot guarantee that if I went back to the same place tomorrow I wouldn’t order steak with waffle fries and a dessert.
Other positives: I did finally get an appointment for the ultrasound. And I read something really interesting in this “granola cruncher guide to health” about gallstones. And as for exercise? I walked my three days this week. I walked a mile three nights this week and I liked it. Dropping 19lbs has made it easier, so it wasn’t even a hardship. I wanted to do it. I may not want to do it today… but I’m content to deal with one temptation at a time. I need to celebrate my victories. Even the small ones.
If we are what we eat, I am a Big Mac or a Quarter Pounder or some other greasy, high fat, high calorie meal. Let’s not forget fries. I LOVE me some Mickey D’s fries but only if they are piping hot and you douse them with the prerequisite amount of salt. Clearly, my relationship with food is skewed. I can count on one and a half hands the type of vegetables I will eat and my allergies keep me from eating a lot of fruits. My food pyramid is shaped more like a rhombus.
Because of my allergies I cannot taste most of my food. If I can’t taste it, why eat it? That means most of the healthy stuff. Unfortunately, most of the food that I can taste is stuff that I can smell. That means lots of fat, lots of salt, and lots of calories. I’m also lactose intolerant but I eat dairy anyway. I’ve only just started using Lactaid this past year. I eat a lot of stuff that tastes good going down, but make me sick once it gets where it’s going.This is the diet that dysfunction built. And it’s my own fault that I have GERD, IBS, allergy related rashes, high cholesterol… and now this current health problem that has me throwing up all the good stuff. I still haven’t gone for the ultrasound so we’re not sure if it’s gallstones or not. Part of me doesn’t want to know. I just want to be healthy.
God’s response to that heart cry was to tell me to honor him with my body. It’s not hard to zero in on what I need to address. I don’t drink anymore. I never smoked. Don’t chew (though I know folks who do). I’ve also never done drugs. And I don’t do a whole lot of stuff that I used to do that was bad.
Here’s where I interrupt myself: It’s hard to be transparent when people I know read my blog. When I was anonymous blogger 10 years ago I could write what I wanted. I did write what I wanted. Now? I worry about what people are going to think. I let myself go and this is what God wants me to write about. Sure, there were reasons why I ended up this way…but the bottom line is that when I moved to Maui I was 165 lbs. I walked the beach every morning and prayed while I walked. After all my surgeries my mobility changed and I ballooned up to 198lbs. I wear oversized clothes so people had no idea how much I really weighed, but I did. Especially when I was changing clothes and would see the deposits of fat around my thighs or the big spare tire around my gut. My friends will tell me that I’m wasn’t fat… but at 5’4″ and 198lbs, you can’t argue with the truth. My weight has hovered between 198-185lbs. The extra weight post surgery is what makes walking hard for me. The adhesions pull more after I’ve eaten and it feels like my guts are being yanked. This is my excuse for not exercising. But I have a friend in a wheelchair who doesn’t make the excuses that I do. She’s an athlete. She even competed in the 2008 ParaOlympics in Bejing. She honors God with her body by taking care of it and using what she’s been given..
Me? I make excuses and I whine…. when what I really need to do is exercise. A lot of the food related illnesses that I have would be manageable if I watched my diet and if I exercised. With my recent health issues and the ones from September/October I’ve managed to lose 19lb. This is the weight loss plan dysfunction made. I don’t like the way that I lost the weight… but I think, in his mercy, God allowed it to be a wake up call for me. I think I mentioned what miserable shape my mom was in when she died back in July. Most of her health problems were 100% avoidable. She made bad food choices over the years that caught up with her. Like me, she liked all the foods that she should only have eaten in moderation. I know I need to and want to change but I’m not really sure how.
I need accountability. That and the fact that I have no idea how to cook healthy meals. I can cook. I’m actually a great cook if you like rack of pork or rack of lamb or some other high calories high fat meal. I need to completely change the way that I eat and I don’t know where to start. I buy produce that goes bad before I get around to cooking it. I come home too tired to exercise after a long day of work. I can keep making excuses and eat my way into more health problems and watch my butt spread OR I can make changes when I can and build on my successes no matter how small.
Wednesday as I drove home I felt crappy. My GERD was acting up on the drive home. It was hard to breath around the “lump” in my throat. I asked God what did I need to do to honor him with my body and he said to go home and exercise. I hedged my bet. I said I’d exercise if I got home by 6:30. If I got home after that I was going to watch Netflix. I have a Leslie Sansome 1 mile walking tape. It only takes 18 minutes and I can do it when I’m not in pain. Once I actually do it I feel good. I can actually do stationary walking in my house and feel totally normal.
I got home at 6:32 and I didn’t punk out. I put on the video and I walked because walking was going to honor God more than stuffing my face in front of a move. This is my starting point. It has to start somewhere. Why not here? Why not now? And it wasn’t just the walking. I had a salad for dinner. I would like to be more intentional about the walking and the eating and I need help. Jenny Craig did not work for me and neither did Curves. I’m going to try blogging for a healthier life. At this point I’m going to commit to walking at least twice a week. I’m going to start posting about the walking and the eating. I’m tired of posting about going to the doctor. I need to get out of the way and let the Divine Physician work. Today I weight 176lbs and I am still fat, sick, and (sometimes) I really do feel like I’m nearly dead. Good thing Jesus knows how to raise the dead. If he can fix the mess that Lazarus made of his life, he can fix the mess I’ve made of mine.
I really liked that last post and was pretty pleased with myself when I posted it.
Now I realize that the title is wrong. The title is ALL wrong. Once again I made it about me. It’s not about “Bipolar” and God. When I put me first I get into trouble. When I was actively struggling with my disorder I would often forget that God was God. During my depressed episodes I would take him out of the equation and things would spiral out of control. Everything would just seem impossible... like there was no solutions in sight. The natural thought (at least to me) was suicide. All roads always ended with suicidal episodes when I took my eyes off God. I would exist in this darkness that can’t be explained until God would step in and do what only God can do: save me. But until that actually happened, I thrashed around in my own head like a drowning person. I kept focusing on my inability to save myself.
That never worked so well in the past and it’s not going to work now.
I have been watching my life slowly spin out of control. When this happens my first thought is the usually the “Ostrich Method.” Y’know… put my head in the sand and don’t deal with anything. If I can’t see my problems then they can’t see me. Unfortunately, this still isn’t working for me. It’s time to take my eyes off of me and how I can’t handle all of these problems and put my eyes squarely back on God. Avoiding my problems is not worrying. It’s actually feeding them. It’s giving me another day to worry about them. God keeps telling me not to worry… but he’s not a fan of the ostrich. He wants me to address things I’ve been putting off. And the things I cannot address? He wants me to surrender and trust him. Honestly? I’ve got more trust issues with God. He’s let so many bad things happen to me, it’s hard to believe blanket statements about trusting him. I will love God no matter what he allows to happen to me. It might color the way that I see him… but it won’t color the way that I love him.
I don’t yet know what it would look like to surrender my current circumstances to God. Actually, I haven’t really bothered to ask. I’ve been too busy telling him what I want or what I don’t want or how I’m feeling. Some people think this is wrong. I disagree. There is a place for that. God wants to hear from us… but there comes a time when I need to sit down, shut up, and listen. I will not know his will if I don’t seek him and I can’t seek him if I’m watching Netflix from the time I get home to the time I go to bed. That is putting me first and then tacking on a little bit of God as I read my bible for 15 minutes (ok 8) before I go to bed.
God is showing me areas where I need to humble out and apologize to people. Yeah. I know. He is telling me not to fear because fear leads to worry. And worry is bad. He is making me so aware of my need to put him first that I feel like a thirsty person stranded in a desert. Yes, God has allowed some pretty craptastic things in my life that didn’t stop happening once I became a believer… but I’m still standing. He has taught me perseverance by making me persevere. I have so many problems right now it’s ridiculous. There is no solution in sight for any of them. Fear and worry have been kicking my spiritual butt and it hasn’t been pretty. Today, I am choosing to believe that my trials are less about me and more about how I can honor God through them. They are about getting out of the way and letting Jesus go first.
No matter what is going wrong in my life…
God is still God
and worthy of my praise.
All of it.
Not some of it.
And not when I “feel” like it.
Jesus deserves my praise because.
Worship isn’t a feeling.
It’s a choice.
A choice that I can make
no matter what
is going on in my life.
My life kinda sucks right now…
But God is still God
and I choose to worship him.
I go to the doctor in two hours.
I am apprehensive.
Three abdominal surgeries
and three oral surgeries
in the last three years
and I still feel pain from
all of them.
In some cases, I feel
more pain than I did in the beginning.
And all of the surgeries have changed
my quality of life for the worse.
I am NOT a big fan of surgery.
And NONE of them have cost me a nickel.
The last round of tests that I had for an
unrelated problem cost me an unexpected $600
out of pocket.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t have
six hundred dollars just laying around
in my pockets.
I’ve been reading about Jesus’ healings
in the Gospel of Mark.
Jesus-care was quick and cost effective.
I believe that Jesus CAN and DID heal people.
I believe that he still does.
Yet, I’m 70% ok with the fact that he hasn’t healed me…
But that 30% wants to know why?
I get it.
Sounds like the same thing, but I get it too.
Given the number of people in our sin soaked the world..
statistically speaking, people have to get sick or injured/hurt.
People have to die.
One day I’M going to die.
I get all of that.
But what I’d REALLY like to get…
I want Jesus to heal me.
ALL of me.
This is not a cry for human help.
I’m not looking for advice.
I am not looking for debate.
And I will get really bent with anybody
suggesting that I don’t have enough faith
to get healed.
Jesus healed DEAD people.
Surely I have more faith than a corpse.
I want Jesus to heal all of me.
I know he can do it
and he won’t charge a nickel.
Please pray for it.
Twenty years ago today I met Jesus on a beach on Maui. I accepted him as my Savior because my life was a train wreck and I knew that I needed saving. But when I look at how I’ve lived my life since then, I wonder just how seriously I took the “Lord” portion of the agreement. I may have made Jesus Lord of my life… but I didn’t make him Lord of my body. Weird topic to choose as my first post of the the year, but I’ve been battling my own body this whole day trying to fight back the urge to throw up. I think my body wants me to blog about this. Throwing up the first day of the year seems wrong. It would make sense if I’d been partying last night and was tossing my cookies because I’d over-indulged, but I didn’t. My breakfast set me off. Cereal. I had a bowl of cereal with milk when I could feel the warning signs that I’ve come to know well these last few weeks of being sick. Something I read this morning came to the forefront of my mind:
I have spent so many years trying to deal with my sexual immorality issues that I tend to ignore the fact that every facet of my body belongs to God. I guess I’m one of those Christians who doesn’t get the hypocrisy of condemning my sexual sin more than my greed. My sexual sin makes me feel guilty gut it hasn’t hurt me, but I obsess over it. I think nothing, however, about shoving an obscene amount of food down my throat especially at church potlucks. Then I want to wonder why I feel sick. I’m not saying that food alone is the cause of what I feel. But if this really is gall stones, they are caused by what I eat or have eaten for a very long time. I used to jokingly call myself the Ultimate Carnivore… but I’m not laughing so much today.
There have been lots of warning signs over the years that my eating was a health issue. Acid reflux/Gerd, and Irritable Bowl Syndrome have been my companions for years. The recent vitamin D and Thiamine deficiencies really put a crimp in my pantyhose. I couldn’t believe how badly those two things impacted my health. And all of those things were like the idiot lights on a car dashboard. Those lights only go off long after the actual problem manifested. If there’d been regular maintenance there would have been no problem.
As I’ve been living off of fast food and processed foods my body was doing what God designed it to do. It was giving me warning signals that I chose to ignore. My mom did the same thing. When she died she had diabetes, high blood pressure, angina, and gangrene. They’d amputated both of her legs. She had other health problems, I’m sure, but we were estranged, so I had no idea she’d even died. Had she taken better care of herself she could still be alive. I look at my mirror and I see my mom. Literally. I look just like her. It’s like having a cautionary tale in the mirror. I don’t want to end up like her.
On the day that I should be celebrating my new life in Christ, I’m sick. Because I’ve been throwing up so much I haven’t been taking my vitamin D and Thiamin. I am starting to feel the overall symptoms of the deficiencies return. It’s kinda scary knowing that I did this to myself. I’m fat, sick, and feel like crap. I’ve got more health problems that I ever thought I’d have, but I also have a choice.
By not honoring God with my body I have opened myself up to all of these gnarly consequences. I’m watching a documentary on Hulu ironically called “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.” I’m around 30 lbs overweight. I feel like crap and if I start throwing up again I’m going to wishing I was dead. The choice? I can continue on as I am in 2014 or I can make changes. I know that everybody makes resolutions about losing weight, but I’m not trying to lose weight although that will be a lovely offshoot. I am choosing to honor God with my body. I’m not sure exactly what that means though. God knows that I hate most fruits and vegetables and have no desire whatsoever to become a vegan. That would last about as long as it took me to drive through McDonald’s and say, “Big Mac Combo, please.” I tried to change my diet when my cholesterol was high. I went WAY overboard. It lasted for a few months, but then after that I dove head first into a fast food bender.
Other efforts in the past to make changes were always selfish. I wanted to lose weight so I could get guys. I wanted to be able to fit into that to die for ball gown or eye catching mini-skirt. I wanted to look better, so I could feel better about myself. All that was about honor me. Today? I just want to feel better. I used celery to settle my stomach and, for now, I feel better. My hands are still jittery and I feel weird, but I’m not going to go worship the porcelain god. I’m going to get back to that documentary because it’s making me think and it’s giving me information I’ve never known. The star is going on a juice fast for 60 days because he was fat, sick, and nearly dead. Unless the Holy Spirit directly communicates that to me, I’m not going to even think about doing that. I want God leading this cause. I don’t have the willpower. Plus, I like to chew my food. I have a phone appointment with my doctor and I go in to see him Saturday. Since I did want to talk to my doctor about seeing a Nutritionist, this is preparing my mind.
Today I am committing my body to Jesus. In my ignorance I have run it to ground. The similarities with my old car are not lost on me. I let that car go to ground because I was ignorant. I didn’t know how to take care of it and once problems cropped up I was afraid to deal with them, so I did nothing. Since God is not likely to give me a new body any time soon… it would behoove me to stop letting fear control how I care for it. I need help. I do not know how to undo what I’ve done, but I trust that Jesus will forgive me for it and guide me to a more God honoring lifestyle. Today I feel fat, sick, and nearly dead… but I don’t have to stay that way.
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
I guess I didn’t want to test that popular theory that a “spoon full of sugar would help the medicine go down”… especially since I couldn’t seem to keep anything else down lately. I still maintain that I have thrown up more in the past few weeks than I’ve ever thrown up in my life… but I can’t stop wishing that I would’ve had a better attitude about it. When am I going to come through a health crisis with my faith shining like a brand new penny? I am not one of those people that deal with illness well. You hear all these stories about people who have cancer or some other life threatening condition who are rays of sunshine to everybody around them. THEY inspire people to persevere because they cope so well. Me? I’m not one of those people. I don’t say all that much about it outside of my blog. I tend to suffer in silence. Only thing is… it’s not all that silent. God knows exactly what I feel because I can’t stop talking to him about it. This time I kept wondering when he’d show up and make it all stop.
Given the fact that God teaches me so much through my cars… it’s no wonder he showed up just when I was wondering why the hell I’d even bought that gas chamber on wheels in the first place. I was convinced that the sweet smell coming up through the A/C was an antifreeze leak. I knew so because I googled it and everything I found pointed to a leak. My car was trying to kill me! The dealer where I bought it has a dodgy reputation on the island. I knew this when I bought my car. The car itself had issues. I knew this when I bought it. Bipolar colors the way I do a lot of things. When I’m in crisis my immediate priority is to do anything that will relieve stress. I was in crisis when I bought my car. My car is the car that Bipolar bought and I knew that there’d be issues with it. I just thought I’d have more time before I had to deal with said issues. The smell was becoming stronger and I was getting more and more nauseous each time I drove it until that day I drove into town to run errands. That was the day I through up like a fireman’s hose. My whole body ached after that. I will never look at honeydew or green grapes the same way. I was afraid to eat and I was afraid to drive my car. God was getting an earful from me.
When I took my car in to the dealer I expected to get the runaround. The service department there always gives me the runaround. I told the guy about the vomiting and asked them to check for a leak. It didn’t take the “normal” 7 hours… but they didn’t confirm the leak. He said that it was the catalytic converter. He might as well have said it was the “supercalafragilisticexpalidotious” because that word meant just as much sense to me. What the heck is a catalytic converter and what’d I ever to to mine to make it want to kill me?? Then he tells me that the smell is normal. NORMAL? It’s the “new car smell” and it can make some people nauseous and that I must just be really sensitive. Come again? The noxious smell coming out of my A/C is normal and will dissipate around 5000 miles? I’m just over 1400 and I’ve owned it since September! I’m going to be sick in my car until that “normal” smell goes away in another 8-9 months?? God?? Are you serious?
Given their dodgy reputation, I didn’t think he was being straight with me. Then I found out that there’s also a recall on2013-2014 Sonics for… (drum roll please)… leaks. I was mad at myself for being such a pansy that I couldn’t challenge him on this. I was afraid to drive my car and couldn’t even advocate for myself. My mother used to say that I’d cry if you looked at me too hard… and she was right. I hate conflict of any kind. Mostly because I get mad and then I cry when I’m mad. Mom would say that I was stupid for crying. I would do anything to be able to control this. I was mad about the car, but I was also sick and just wanted to get out of there so I left. The whole catalytic converter thing weighed heavily on me but I couldn’t understand any of the technobabble that I found only. I planned to asked the Driving Instructor if she knew what it was. I prayed that God would keep me healthy the first time I had to drive it to work. I’d also been praying for wisdom. Hopefully, the DrEd Instructor would shed some light on this for me. I ran into her when I got to work, but she didn’t really know what a supercalafragilytic converter actually was easy either.
I’d called out to her as I passed through the office into the lobby. We were standing there discussing it when our new head of security walked over. She just stood there. She’s new and I’ve never really spoken to her so I didn’t say anything to her. I thought she was waiting for the DrEd Instructor. You could have knocked me over with a spoon full of sugar when she asked, “Did you want to know what a catalytic converter is?” This woman is ex-military. She carries herself like she’s ex-military. She is beyond capable and knows her stuff. She proceeded to go into great detail about catalytic converters and how you know when one is bad. I couldn’t wipe the goofy grin off my face. I KNOW God sent her my way first thing in the morning to reassure me. I felt totally reassured… even if I didn’t like the fact that it really is the “new car smell.” She assured me that it will go away but that it might be safer to drive with the windows down. It took some of the fear out of driving this car which led to me wanting to confront all of my car driving fears hence the driving lessons and the doctor’s appointment.
My doctor contacted me tonight. As much as I do not want to hear that I need a bunch of expensive test or an expensive operation… like the fumes, my health problems won’t go away if I ignore them. And as for that whole “spoon full of sugar” thing… I think I’ll take a Snicker’s bar with me to the doctor’s. It won’t help make any medicine go down… but it’s the closest I get to portable comfort food and I’m fairly certain that if I eat it I’ll be able to keep it down. I just have to make sure the windows are down when I go for my appointment. And I want everybody praying for wisdom for my doctor. God seems to be sending it via some unexpected channels lately.