Posted in anxiety, bible verses, bipolar, bitterness, depression, disability, Faith, fear, fibromyalgia

Lay Your Burdens Down

I’m hurting again. I’m exhausted…again. My body is in so much pain that I just want to give up. But I know I can’t. This is a daily battle. It’s a battle that rages constantly, pulling me down with it sometimes. I don’t always win. Today feels like one of those days.

Fibromyalgia. Why must it exist? Bipolar disorder…why must I suffer? I just want to be normal. What is normal though? Does it even exist?

I am not writing this in order to get you to feel sorry for me. Rather I’m writing to get my thoughts out, to express how I’m feeling. But due to brain fog I can’t find the right words to truly express how I’m feeling. I have to save this as a draft, walk away for a little while, then come back. Most of the time that works but today I’m struggling. My brain just doesn’t want to work today.

As I was writing this, Jamie Kimmett’s song “Burdens” came on. Coincidence? I think not! This is ALL GOD!

I don’t have to fight this battle alone. The Lord is with me. He wants me to lay my burdens down, to give everything to Him!

Do not be afraid of the nations there, for the Lord your God will fight for you.

Deuteronomy 3:22

The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles.

Psalm 34:17

Posted in depression, disability, Faith, fibromyalgia, life, mental disorders, peace

Strength of My Heart

Psalm 73:26 is one of my favorite verses. It says,

My health my fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever. (NLT)

No matter what the doctors diagnose me with in the future, no matter what they’ve already diagnosed me with…it doesn’t matter because GOD remains a constant in my life. Like the verse says, He is MINE forever! I never have to worry about Him leaving me. I never have to worry about Him forsaking me. He is mine forever!

I had another MRI of my head on Monday. (Praise God I got through it…well,  with some help from Lorazepam, LOL. No matter how many MRIs I have, the claustrophobia NEVER goes away!) Anyways, my new endocrinologist is checking to see if my pituitary tumor has returned. My prolactin levels indicate that it possibly has.

If it has, it has and we will work together to come up with the right treatment plan. These type of tumors are usually benign and will shrink with medication. It CAN be removed and I’ve been thinking about asking my doctor if that’s a plan we might come to. This type of surgery will require them to remove it……wait for it….through my nose! It’s much less invasive, obviously, than having brain surgery.

Most likely, we’ll try to treat it with medication but if it doesn’t shrink then surgery could be an option.

I’m not worried. God has me in His hands. He is allowing these health issues to keep me humble, to keep my eyes trained on Him, to remind me to lean on Him through it all. Can He heal me completely? Absolutely! But like Paul, I think this is my “thorn in the flesh,” And I’m fine with that now. I didn’t used to be. There were times in the past that I would just cry out to Him…begging Him to make me whole, begging Him to heal me.

One day I WILL be made whole! It may not be here on earth but oh…when I see Jesus face to face….that will be glory!

The Lord is the strength of my heart. He is Jehovah Rapha (the Lord who heals)

 

Posted in depression, disability, fibromyalgia, Uncategorized

Pain Awareness Month

I had no idea that September was Pain Awareness Month. As a sufferer of a chronic illness, I like the fact that awareness is being brought to those who suffer.

My journey with fibromyalgia has been a long one. I believe it started a few months after I contracted mono in my sophomore year of college…(2004, 2005) I went to the doctor but he brushed it off as depression and that it was all in my head. So I continued on in college…graduated and then decided it was time to find a doctor who would believe me.

I ended up moving back home to Virginia in 2008 and saw several doctors who didn’t believe me and told me it was all in my head.  So my depression, (which I have suffered from LONG before all my fibro symptoms started) reared its ugly head and I gave up on trying to get doctors to believe me.  *I* knew it wasn’t all in my head.

Flash forward to July of 2016. I was babysitting my niece and nephew when I had a seizure and fell to the floor, hitting my head and breaking my collarbone. It was a couple months after this that my symptoms became even worse. The pain I was in was excruciating. I read that sometimes fibro symptoms show up after a trauma of some sort. Mine were already there but became worse after the seizure.

I found a new doctor and decided to bring up my fibro symptoms one more time. Praise the Lord he believed me! He reviewed my history and did the pressure point test and blood work and agreed with me that it sounded like fibromyalgia. So he started me on Gabapentin (which did NOT work) so he then put me on Lyrica which I have been on for quite some time now.

Y’all, chronic pain may be an invisible illness but it’s still an illness! Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Please remember that. 🙂





Update on Landen: (from yesterday)

Landen has had some trouble with the g tube and stomach issues so today they placed an NJ tube to bypass his stomach. The hope with this is to heal whatever may be causing the issues with his stomach. He did not have dialysis today!! His pain is not completely under control and the doctors are working on better pain management. He continues to sleep a lot but was more awake and alert today! His BP was higher today most likely due to pain. They continue to try to wean pressure support on his oxygen but this has been challenging due to his pain level. Please pray specifically for his pain! He has dealt with this pain for a long time and we would love to see it under control! We continue to thank the Lord for stable days! Thank you all for your love and support!!

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Posted in adhd, anxiety, depression, Faith, fibromyalgia, worry

Fibro Fog

If you or a loved one suffers from fibromyalgia then you are aware of one of the more debilitating symptoms: the dreaded fibro fog. According to MedicineNet.com, fibro fog is:

 A type of cognitive dysfunction reported by many people with fibromyalgia. Also sometimes referred to as brain fog, its symptoms include difficulty with concentration, memory deficits, and confusion.

It can be very frustrating and I know for me it leads to depression.  For me, I will have moments where I will be talking and will completely forget what I was trying to say. I will stop mid sentence therefore making me look and feel pretty dumb.  My memory is terrible and I have the absolute worst time concentrating.  (Since I also have ADHD, the concentration problem can be worse at times)

I often have trouble recalling certain words when talking or even writing. Simple words for every day things. Words I never used to have trouble remembering.

(Funnily enough, I’m having trouble right now trying to get this blog post written.)

The combination of my struggles with the fibro fog and the insecurities it brings really puts a damper on things. I want to be positive, want to have confidence but the struggle is so very real.

I googled some verses on insecurity and came across several that have been very comforting:

7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart     I Samuel 16:7

I struggle with my looks quite a bit and reading this verse really helps me to put things into perspective.

Some more verses I came across

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.    Philippians 4:6-9

These verses give me comfort because I know that by placing my trust in Him I can overcome any struggle I run into. I need not worry because He is right there beside me as I go through my insecurities and doubts.

Fibro fog may not be curable but with God’s help I can get through the frustrations it brings. And when I struggle with finding the right word, God is still right there beside me helping me to get through the difficulties.

Posted in anxiety, bipolar, blogging, christian living, church, depression, Faith, fear, fibromyalgia, grace, mental disorders, peace, phobias, song lyrics, worry, writers block

Why Is It So Hard?

I have all but lost my desire for writing. Now that I’m back to work, it seems I have let my writing fall by the wayside. After I get home from work I’m in so much pain from standing all day that I have no interest in writing.

I’m going to be honest with you all for a moment…..I’m struggling. With life, with my relationship with God, with just about everything. I haven’t lost my faith. I still believe but I’m finding it hard to set aside time to spend with God.

I’m human. We all are. We have flaws and always will. But what happens when you lose your desire for God? Why is it so hard to follow Him? I see others who are so devoted to God and have a deep relationship with Him and I wonder why I can’t seem to find that sort of relationship. I know it’s available, I know it’s there. I thought I used to have it.  Maybe I never have.

I feel like a fraud. This blog is supposed to be me telling others about Christ and His love for us. And here I am, struggling. I’ve abandoned my blog in recent weeks.

I know we all struggle. As long as we are on this earth we will struggle from time to time.

I do know that God is still working in me. As I write this, I’m listening to Mandisa’s song, Unfinished. If you haven’t heard it I definitely advise you to check it out. Here’s some of the lyrics,

Not scared to say it
I used to be the one
Preaching it to you
That you could overcome
I still believe it
But it ain’t easy
‘Cause that world I painted
Where things just all work out
It started changing
And I started having doubts
And it got me so down
But I picked myself back up
And I started telling me
No, my God’s not done
Making me a masterpiece
He’s still working on me
He started something good
And I’m gonna believe it
He started something good
And He’s gonna complete it
So I’ll celebrate the truth
His work in me ain’t through
I’m just unfinished
I’m just unfinished
So I’ll celebrate the truth
His work in me ain’t through
I’m just unfinished
I know God is not finished with me yet.  And I know if you are struggling right now, like I am, that God isn’t finished with you yet either. Keep your head up and focused on Him.
That’s what I am doing.
But why is it so hard???
Here is another song that is speaking to me right now. It’s called Need You Now by Plumb. Such a powerful song!
Well, everybody’s got a story to tell
And everybody’s got a wound to be healed
I want to believe there’s beauty here
‘Cause oh, I get so tired of holding on
I can’t let go, I can’t move on
I want to believe there’s meaning here
How many times have you heard me cry out
“God please take this”?
How many times have you given me strength to
Just keep breathing?
Oh I need you
God, I need you now.
Standing on a road I didn’t plan
Wondering how I got to where I am
I’m trying to hear that still small voice
I’m trying to hear above the noise
How many times have you heard me cry out
God please take this?
How many times have you given me strength to
Just keep breathing?
Oh I need you
God, I need you now.

I don’t know where you are right now in your walk with God, whether you’re struggling, as I am right now, or if things are going great for you right now but just remember this: God is not finished with you and has great plans for you.

I honestly believe this though I’m struggling right now.
I just wish it wasn’t so hard.
Posted in anxiety, depression, Faith, fear, fibromyalgia, mental disorders, prayer, worry

An Apology

I would like to apologize to you all who read my posts. I haven’t been writing much lately and it just feels like I’ve lost my desire to write. I want to get it back but I don’t know how to do it.

I have been having issues with my fibromyalgia and not having my Lyrica for several weeks, leaving me in pain. I finally was able to get my medication but it will take a week or two to fully get back in my system.

I want to be completely honest with you: I’m struggling. Spiritually, Mentally, Physically. It’s so hard being a bipolar Christian.

This blog is supposed to be about me telling people about Jesus and lately I haven’t been doing that. I feel like a fraud.

I don’t want to shut down this blog. I want so badly to get back into the swing of things and be the person I was when I first started this blog.

So I’m going to dig deep into Scripture and pray that God will show me what I am supposed to do.

Pray for me, if you don’t mind.

Posted in fibromyalgia

Fibro Fog

Fibro fog – also known as fibromyalgia fog and brain fog – is a term commonly used for the cognitive difficulties that can occur with fibromyalgia.

Fibro fog can manifest itself in different ways in different people but some of the most common symptoms include:

  • short-term memory loss
  • misplacing objects
  • becoming easily distracted
  • forgetting plans
  • difficulty carrying on conversations
  • inability to remember new information

Lately my fibro fog has gotten worse. I think a trip to my doctor is in the future to see if there is anything that can be done. I’ve read that certain medications can help. As much as I don’t want to be on another medication, if it will help with this fibro fog then I’m all for it!

I have such a hard time remembering words. I forget things constantly. My memory is just plain awful. It’s really annoying, actually. I’m only 35 years old for crying out loud.

I don’t say all of this to get your pity but rather your prayers! I want so badly to memorize Scripture to help me when I’m feeling down and depressed about all of this. But my brain just won’t let me. I can remember bits and pieces of Scripture but not the entire verse.

So you guys, pray for me as I struggle with this stupid fibro fog.  I am determined to not let it bring me down any longer.

Posted in adhd, bible verses, bipolar, disability, fibromyalgia, mental disorders

Strong Enough

I hate being bipolar. I hate having ADHD. I struggle constantly with rambling thoughts, racing through my mind. I’m restless, constantly. I can’t focus on a given task for longer than a few minutes. I get distracted and will start several tasks, not finishing them because I get bored and move on to something else. Having fibromyalgia doesn’t help either. I live in a constant state of restlessness, chronic fatigue and pain, and irritability.

Honestly? I’m exhausted. It’s exhausting living like this.

But I know without a doubt that my God is with me through all of this. He is with me in the pain, in the irritability. He is with me through all my rambling thoughts. He is with me as I struggle to pray because I can’t focus long enough. He knows the words I am trying to say.

It’s been almost 3 weeks since my disability hearing. I haven’t heard anything yet. I know it can take a while so I just have to learn to be patient, which let’s face it, is NOT a strong suit of mine. But God is with me.

God is with me even now as I struggle to write this, as I force myself, with great difficulty, to get this blog post finished. The words just won’t come.

God is with me in the good days and the bad ones.

God is with me wherever I go.

Some verses that comfort me when I’m feeling this way:

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens and I will give you rest.”

Matthew 11:28 (NLT)

 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (NIV)

 

I took a break from writing this and turned on some music and the song “Strong Enough” by Matthew West came on. I find it fitting. 🙂

Strong Enough

Matthew West

You must
You must think I’m strong
To give me what I’m going through
Well, forgive me
Forgive me if I’m wrong
But this looks like more than I can do
On my own
I know I’m not strong enough to be
Everything that I’m supposed to be
I give up
I’m not strong enough
Hands of mercy won’t you cover me
Lord right now I’m asking you to be
Strong enough
Strong enough
For the both of us
Yeah
Well, maybe
Maybe that’s the point
To reach the point of giving up
‘Cause when I’m finally
Finally at rock bottom
Well, that’s when I start looking up
And reaching out
I know I’m not strong enough to be
Everything that I’m supposed to be
I give up
I’m not strong enough
Hands of mercy won’t you cover me
Lord right now I’m asking you to be
Strong enough
Strong enough
‘Cause I’m broken
Down to nothing
But I’m still holding on to the one thing
You are God and
You are strong when
I am weak
I can do all things
Through Christ who gives me strength
And I don’t have to be
I don’t have to be strong enough
Strong enough
I can do all things
Through Christ who gives me strength
And I don’t have to be
Strong enough
Strong enough
Oh, yeah
I know I’m not strong enough to be
Everything that I’m supposed to be
I give up
I’m not strong enough
Hands of mercy won’t you cover me
Lord right now I’m asking you to be
Strong enough
Strong enough
Strong enough

Posted in adhd, bible verses, bipolar, disability, fibromyalgia, grace, mental disorders, phobias

Disability Hearing

Well, I had my hearing today to determine whether or not I can get disability. It went fairly well. My lawyer seems to think I have a great case and have a good shot at winning.

Sorry I haven’t posted lately. I’ve been so distracted about this hearing and haven’t been able to focus on anything but that.

But now it’s over. And so the waiting game begins……

I discovered a Bible verse last night as I was reading that fit my situation perfectly. It is found in 2 Corinthians 12:9

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

No matter what the decision by the judge, God’s grace is sufficient for me. He will get me through this and He hasn’t left me for one minute. He’s by my side always.

Another verse I found comforting is found in Philippians 3:20-21:

20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

My body may be failing me right now but soon I will have a new body! My citizenship is not here on earth, it’s in Heaven where Jesus awaits me.

 

How is YOUR day going?

 

Posted in fibromyalgia

My Battle with Fibromyalgia

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Most of you know that I struggle with fibromyalgia, a chronic illness that causes widespread body pain, fatigue and cognitive difficulties (“fibro fog”)

So what CAUSES fibromyalgia? Doctors don’t know for sure what exactly causes it but do believe a number of factors play a role:

  • Genetics
  • Infections (like mono which I contracted in college. The Epstein Barr Virus, which causes mono,  stays in a person’s system for the rest of their life but .)
  • physical or emotional trauma (like the seizure I had which resulted in me breaking my collarbone)

Common Symptoms:

  • widespread pain
  • jaw pain and stiffness
  • stiff joints and muscles in the morning
  • headaches
  • irregular sleep patterns
  • irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • difficulties with memory and concentration, known as “fibro-fog”
  • fatigue

They are so many more symptoms. Not every person who has fibromyalgia deals with the same symptoms as someone else. It varies from person to person, which is why I believe it’s so hard to diagnose.

Researchers believe repeated nerve stimulation causes the brains of people with fibromyalgia to change. This change involves an abnormal increase in levels of certain chemicals in the brain that signal pain (neurotransmitters). In addition, the brain’s pain receptors seem to develop a sort of memory of the pain and become more sensitive, meaning they can overreact to pain signals.

—-Mayo Clinic

It’s a daily struggle, that’s for sure.

For anyone who has a chronic illness, some days can be just plain awful. Once in a while we’ll have a good day but I know for me, that after that “good day” the next few are bad. And why? Well for me,and probably most people, it’s because we did too much on that “good day.” We did more than we should have

I’ve been struggling with fibromyalgia since around 2008 when I was living in Nashville, TN. My doctors there were ruling out other illnesses and trying to come up with a plan when I had to abruptly move back home to Norfolk, VA.  So as I tried to  transfer my medical records to a doctor here, I discovered the doctor I chose didn’t believe in fibromyalgia and told me it was all in my head.

Photo by Marc Schäfer on Unsplash

The doctor after that told me the same thing. I couldn’t find a doctor who would believe me. It was all in my head according to them! Until 2016. This doctor finally believed me! He told me that fibromyalgia was indeed a real illness. I am currently being treated by him. He’s a great doctor who takes the time to listen to his patients. He genuinely cares for his patients.  I told him that if he ever left to start his own practice, I would be following him. LOL

I think my biggest frustration with fibromyalgia, besides the body pain and fatigue, is the memory issues. I have the worst memory. I get words mixed up and half the time can’t remember what I was trying to say. It’s so annoying. That’s why sometimes I go for days without a blog post because the words just won’t come or they get mixed up and I just get so frustrated that I don’t write.

(Maybe I should write through the frustration! It’s a thought! I’ll have to give it a try!)

I don’t understand why I must have fibromyalgia and all these other health problems (bipolar disorder, ADHD, PCOS, anxiety, depression) but I know that God is in control and will help me fight these battles.  Perhaps He’s allowing me to go through this so that I may grow closer to Him, reaching out to Him always. To learn to depend on Him always.

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you

I Peter 5:7