I really can’t believe July is almost over. It’s been a month for the books, that much is true. So let’s review.
It started off on the stressful side. I just had decided (or rather, had the decision made for me) to go on short-term disability from work since my efforts to compromise with my employer to work from home were fruitless. I was fully capable of working, I just couldn’t safely drive because of dizziness and other side effects I was experiencing from the medication I was taking for Mini, my brain tumor. And I needed to be able to lay down periodically during bouts of dizziness, but I was mentally able to work. Unfortunately, my employer didn’t see it that way and preferred to place undue stress on the rest of my coworkers by forcing them to work short staffed and essentially forcing me to go on disability since I couldn’t work at my workplace. Heck, I could be working right now if I were able to work from home. Instead, I’ll have been on disability for 4 1/2 months by the time I go back to work. But anyway, going on disability means more stress for me because of only receiving 60% pay at a time when we need money the most to pay out of pocket for the surgery I had this month. But I guess, in the words of Forrest Gump, “Sometimes we all do things that, well, just don’t make no sense.”
It was at the start of the month I decided to start this blog with the goal of raising awareness about the various chronic illnesses I have. Not to draw attention to myself, but to the illnesses that control my life and need to be recognized as problematic to everyone who has them. A month later, I think I can say that I have done decently well from that perspective. My blog has had 4,133 hits as of this moment from 39 countries around the world, from as far away as New Zealand and as tiny as Swaziland and Malta. If you were one of those people, I can only say thank you so much for taking the time to read even a single post or, hopefully, many posts. I hope you learned something useful!
The first week of July, I had an appointment with a neurosurgeon to discuss the possibility of having brain surgery to remove Mini because I was one of the rare people unable to tolerate either medication used to treat it. After a detailed discussion, my husband and I made the decision to proceed with surgery, which will occur on September 8th. I’m slightly terrified at the prospect of having brain surgery, even if it is endoscopic, but it’s something that needs to be done to hopefully rid me of the tumor forever, which surgery has a 70% chance of doing. If you’re interested in my full story that led to the diagnosis, check out Zero to Migraine and Hell in My Head.
Midway through the month was our trip to Atlanta for my second surgery with Dr. Sinervo at the Center for Endometriosis Care. What was originally thought to be adhesions from my last surgery (check out A Sticky Subject for that story) ended up being a very rare type of hernia called a broad ligament hernia. It was causing intermittent bowel obstructions and intermittent ovarian torsion, both of which are medical emergencies, but I had been unknowingly dealing with since probably last August. For the full story, check out The Day Before the Day Of and Always A Zebra. I will note again, however, that almost two years after my excision surgery with Dr. Sinervo, no endometriosis was found during this surgery, proving that excision by a true specialist is as good as a cure for an incurable disease like endometriosis. If you have endo, GET THOU TO AN EXCISIONIST!!!
Since then, I have been recovering well at home in Ohio. My umbilical incision has been causing some challenges (see Nocturnal Musings #1 and Slight Complications and A Visit from Jesus.) I really hope it’s not infected, but we’ll see.
Throughout the month, David and I have continued our Bible study of 100 days in the gospels, going chronologically through the earthly ministry of Jesus. It’s a very interesting way to read the gospels. We should be finishing up in two weeks. But the best thing is that we have both grown tremendously in our faith, something we had been lacking through the first six years of our marriage. Now we are both excited to seek the Lord in the Word every night, and I find myself seeking devotional after devotional to read just so I can spend more time in the Word. It’s been incredibly uplifting and comforting throughout the trials I’ve been going through this calendar year. I love my Jesus more than anything and I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. When I have my quiet time daily, I write down in my journal key verses so I can refer to them again. Or if I’m having a rough time, I’ll just flip to a day in my journal and see the words of God that I’ve written out, and I am filled with comfort.
July was also a month of reunions. While in Atlanta, my friend Kelly, who actually led me to Christ when I was 15, came down on a surprise visit from Chattanooga. We hadn’t seen each other in about 12 years, so it was definitely a shock, but also a tremendous blessing to spend the day together. Last time we met, I had just started pharmacy school and she was a member of Ballet Magnificat. Now we’re both married and she has two children. It’s amazing how time flies in adulthood.
Then I was poking around on Facebook one night and discovered that my former Compassion International sponsor child from Honduras, Heybi, has a profile, so we friended each other and have been talking a little bit (thanks to Google Translate!) I sponsored her for nine years, so I basically got to see her grow up. We met four years ago (see For the Least Of These for that story) and she is 21 now, so it’s wonderful to see that she is doing well. On the same day as my reconnection with Heybi, my childhood next door neighbor, who I knew as Kristy, found me on Facebook, unfortunately to inform me that her mother had passed away from cancer two weeks prior. Kristy and I hadn’t seen or spoken to each other in 16 years because we just lost touch when she went to college and her family moved away. I practically lived at her house when we were kids, so it’s been great to reconnect with her as well. I feel so blessed to have these friends back in my life!
Seeing as July was a very eventful month, I’m interested to see what August will bring. Only 39 days until my brain surgery, which seems ridiculously close already! We’ll see what happens!