This week was the start of a new local chronically ill support group (In Times Like These)! A lady and her husband from a nearby town started this group because she was diagnosed with mast cell activation syndrome, basically she is allergic to life! I met her at the rare disease day event they held back in February and her story humbled me, inspired me yet also provided comfort because again while we all might have different illnesses, sitting face to face with someone who really can relate to what I am going through is one of the biggest supports you can have!
The chronically ill support group streamed live because a lot of times, those of us with illnesses, get sick and can’t make it to events. If you can’t watch it broadcasted live then everyone has the opportunity to watch it at their own leisure. The pastor gave some background information about how the church and this group got started. Peg and her husband Chad also shared a little bit of their story and the sad truth is that Tim and I could relate with so much of what they said.
For instance, in the link attached you will hear Chad discuss a pretty scary and serious situation one time while him and his wife were on his motorcycle. Tim and I have had several types of those incidents as well, especially when it comes to my fm. But, in all the commotion with what my fm has been doing to my heart and lungs, I sometimes forget how serious my diabetes can be as well.
With so many health issues, they tend to trigger other symptoms for each issue. Meaning, while my diabetes affects my fm, my fm symptoms can affect my diabetes and blood sugars. My body is constantly fighting itself trying to figure out how to balance out from one sickness to the other…and a lot of times that is not possible, no matter how hard I try.
Chad’s story he shared reminded me of the time not too long ago when my sugars dropped down in to the 20s. For those of you who have diabetes, you know where this is going…for those of you who don’t know, my blood sugars should never go below 80 for dangerous reasons. I began blacking out..and of all places…while I was helping Tim move our big 1200 pound pregnant mama cows!! I remember my legs buckling and I let out a bloodcurdling scream because I was so out of it, yet aware just enough to know something really bad was about to happen. I remember Tim yelling at Leah “go get mommy a Mountain Dew”…as he used his arm and leg to hold me up against the gate ALL while trying to keep the big cows from running out of the pen with his other arm and the rest of his body.
Next thing I know, I am in Tim’s arms with Mountain Dew running down my chin as he explained to me that I had started convulsing…and he had poured pop down my throat. By the way…even though the Mountain Dew probably saved my life…don’t do that if you don’t have to haha. I went to the doctor the next day and got a “glucagon” which is the proper and safest way to treat life threatening low blood sugars.
This is a story I never shared because first of all, to this day Tim hates the thought of that incident and says that was probably one of the scariest things he has ever experienced. I felt embarrassed, angry and guilty for my blood sugars getting so low. I hated myself for putting so much fear into my baby girl as well as the horrified look I remember splattered across my husband’s face as he tried to keep me from falling and cracking my head open on the cement….not to mention possibly being stomped on by cows!
Thankfully I have never had many issues with my diabetes like that before but this is our reality…with just one of several of my illnesses! Tim has also seen me with low oxygen and low blood pressure, to the point of me being hard to wake up from procedures, he has seen doctors hesitate when trying to give us encouraging news in the worst situations. My husband has seen me almost die on a few different occasions and every appointment we go to is always one more appointment closer to them finally saying nothing else can be done for me.
This is life living with chronic illnesses!! These are the daily “challenges” we face.
And, as much as I HATE how all of my illnesses affects my family too, I HAVE faith that the Lord is working in all of this!! Because on days like I just explained, it is hard for me to find any value as a wife and a mother who is always sick…but thankfully that is not where our value comes from and Peg and Chad explained it so well with the dollar bill demonstration.
I am doing a women’s study on Esther, a book in the bible, and so many things have jumped out at me since starting this series but one saying in particular seemed to be the only line on the page of my workbook one day…”the ending to each story is happy (if we accept Jesus as our personal savior), but before the happy ending is realized, much grief occurs.”
How comforting that is to me! I am in God’s hands and I am confident of who He says He is. Yes there is pain and we will all endure suffering, there is no getting around it! But someday all of our sorrows will be gone, our bodies will be healed and we will have an eternity with Jesus filled with joy and love like we cannot even begin to imagine!
Peg and Chad seem to use their sense of humor, but more importantly, their faith to help them push through and survive each day that passes…something else Tim and I can relate to.
Sadly life changing circumstances can happen to anyone and it will happen in the blink of an eye….because that’s how we ended up in our situation! So, always rejoice in Jesus, love your family, appreciate your health and enjoy the little things in life!
Please take the time to watch this link…it is on standby and starts right at the 9 minute mark…