Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Good morning to you all.  It's been a while since I've posted.  There are so many things going on at our house that I've been overwhelmed and too tired....

February, March, and April bring so much emotion to the table.  Rob's dad died in Feb.  My mom celebrated her BD and fell in March.  She died early April. Rob's dad's BD is in April too.  And I celebrate my illnessversary in April.  (None of it happened this year).

April 1994 is the year that I don't forget.  I was working, managing a household, watching over my parents and family, and WHAM!  I got sick.  Felt like the flu and my spine hurt so bad I could hardly walk.  My right side became unresponsive.  It was basically useless. I drug my foot and carried my arm.  In time, I was nearly incapacitated.  I needed help to get in and out of bed.  I could not care for anyone, including myself.  Our home life ground to a halt.  Rob did what he could, but was totally out of his league.  He worked long hours and the kids all were in school, etc... My Mom came to the rescue.  She cooked, cleaned, did laundry, and kept tabs on my family.  She cut up my food and cooked things that were easy to swallow.  I spent a year like that.  (My Mom and I were very close and I still miss her terribly.)  The poor doctors were baffled.  I felt like I'd lost my life.  The days were long and the nights were longer.  After about a year, I began to improve some. I could walk on my own and realized that it took amazing effort to do so.  I began to notice all sorts of things about my body.  And the effort to simply breathe was all encompassing.  I wanted to die.  Part of me had.  Why couldn't the rest of me do so also?   I was terrified.  I was useless.  My family was in shock. 

As the months went by, I struggled with the doctors opinions of me.  Words like lazy, fat, and mentally ill, began to show up in reports. After all the tests were all "normal", so it must be in my head, right?  I felt terrible and knew there was something "wrong".  I could feel the difference in my body.  After two years I met a doc from Canada who had worked with women who had fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.  She diagnosed me on my first visit with her.  I was, in many ways, set free on that day. My "condition" had a name! Treatment was to kill the pain and clear the depression.  It didn't work very well, but I did sleep more and was more alert when I was awake.  I had about two "good" hours a day and I treasured them.

As the years began to add up, the family dynamics changed dramatically.  I watched from the side lines as the kids grew, married, and moved on.  I tried to be involved, but after each event, it took months to recover.  I learned to pace and to weigh the price of each choice.  Was it worth what it would cost?  So many times the answer was no...........  I hated myself and what I had become. 

I was a Christian the whole time, but that didn't seem to matter.  God wasn't healing me.  I wanted my old life back!  I wanted a life -- period.  I could not see the positives at all.  Yes, I was depressed and sad, and in pain and clouded by drugs.  No, I wasn't faking it so I didn't have to work anymore.... I felt betrayed by my own body and mind.  But God didn't give up on me.  He continued to nurture me through others and I began to see that life was going to continue.  I was going to live and I needed to adapt to this the best way possible.  So, with many prayers, much love, and a God bigger than my  problems, I began to look at life again.  I began to relish the days and to celebrate living. 

I did improve some more and that helped too.  I could keep house somewhat and drive again.  I managed to keep tabs on our youngest and to drive my folks where they needed to go.  My extended family just watched and shook their heads.  They didn't understand.  What I couldn't explain to them was that for the most part, we didn't understand either.... it was simply the new reality for us.

During the years, there have been many ups and downs and mostly "it is what it is".  I seldom commit to anything as I never know how I will feel that day... I do what I can and try not to hit myself over the head about the rest.  I sleep a lot, rest a lot, and try to enjoy each day as it comes.  I spend as much time with family as possible.  I go to church when I'm able. 

My husband has bi-polar disease and heart problems.  He is unable to work  and at times its like the fountain has been left on around here.  We are unable to help each other like we want to. We are limited so much personally that we have nothing to give to each other.  It's a sad fact of our lives.  Thankfully we are not both "down" at the same time too often.  But when we are, neither one of us wants to be here!

But, I am blessed.  I have so much that others don't.  I have a warm and dry home and have food for my table.  I have a husband and a family who loves me.  I have a Lord and Savior who died for my sins and has claimed me as His own.  I am loved. 

Yes, I am blessed.  And I have found my hope in the midst of this life.

And now I have each of you.  You add to my blessings with your encouragement and honesty.  Thanks to each of you.

God Bless and Keep You Always,



  1. Oh, Elaine, what a beautiful story of your journey with chronic illness. Thank you so much for sharing it. You have given the rest of us hope as we struggle. Personally, I have been discouraged lately with this latest adventure in pain...wondering why and how to make it all vanish. I found comfort here today,friend. May God bless you for sharing your journey with illness and with our Lord Jesus. Hugs~

  2. Elaine, anniversaries can be such painful times. You seem to be so capable of being honest with pain while still going forward in hope. Thank you for your example. I encourage you in your hope amidst the struggles as well as the blessings that you are so right to remember.

  3. Stacy,
    Thank you so much. It's a balancing act that we all do I know. I appreciate your comments.

    God Bless and Keep YOU.