Clearly, it’s been a while. Not because I didn’t want to write, but because I couldn’t. You see, I got sick, and it’s been very hard for me to say those words.
Oh, it’s easy to say I’m sick when I have a run-of-the-mill, over-in-a-week bug. But it has not been so easy for me to say I’m sick, either to myself or others, with an illness that will never go away. You can see my earlier blog when everything was still starting. I had a lot of hope for a quick “official” diagnosis, good meds, and a fast return to normal.
Well, that didn’t happen. My five-month journey is nothing compared to that of so many. Look at this woman in Mark. She had been suffering for twelve years, and she had endured much under many physicians, she had spent all she had, “and she was no better, but rather grew worse.” I got a glimpse of what this woman went through, only a brief look, and I know why sought out Jesus and reached for his robe for a chance at healing. Of course she did.
I’ll tell you, there has been great relief now that I am finally admitting that I am sick (again, as much admitting to myself as to anyone else). I’ve taken a lot of pressure off of myself, and I’ve pruned away many branches weighing me down. These are good, worthy branches. Branches that bore wonderful fruit with the promise of more. But they are also branches that caused me to use my limited resources (time, energy, ability) in places that were not crucial to my overall health and growth.
Admitting I’m sick has also let me receive so much more care from so many more people. I have treasured each prayer, thought, and email. A few Guilford Park members in particular have shared their experiences with auto-immune diseases, and their wisdom and encouragement have seen me through some tough spots.
So where am I now? I have a fabulous doctor, a name for what’s going on (psoriatic arthritis), and some meds (methotrexate). I have taken three doses (once a week) of methotrexate, and I can tell such a difference! My pain is lessening, my stiffness is lessening, and the biggest change I’ve seen so far is in my mental clarity. Honestly, I have been swimming through murky mud since Memorial Day.
I’ve also learned to take better care of myself. I’m learning my new limits, and I’m a better judge of what I can do. I’m also a lot better at saying what I cannot do. And if you stop by the office in the early afternoon, I’m often not at my desk. That’s because I’ve snuck away to take a nap. Jeff knows to make me an extra cup of coffee in the afternoons to keep me going.
It’s been awhile because I haven’t known what to say. It’s been awhile because I couldn’t do more than the minimum amount of computer work. It’s been awhile because I was afraid to reach out to you for care in the same way you reach out to me. Our church committee is called “Congregational Care”. To me that means we all take care of each other. Thank you for all the ways you have seen through my facade, asked about how I was doing, and cared for me in my weakness.
I’ve missed writing to you all. I hope it won’t be a while till we meet again.