Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Let's Start at the Very Beginning ....

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

It was late September 2006, I was exhausted with jet lag from just getting home from China two days prior, but I was determined not to miss this doctor’s appointment. As I sat on the cold table, fidgeting around a bit, an elderly doctor-way past retirement age, an expert in his field, confirmed for me the diagnosis I had long suspected for years. The pain, fatigue, and unusual medical conditions that had plagued me since childhood-nearly 12 years at that point- was fibromyalgia, a chronic pain disorder.

My initial response was relief. I now knew what it was, all of my problems for all of these years finally had a name, and most importantly it wasn’t fatal. My relief was soon replaced with fear, sadness, and anger. I was 23 years old. Most patients my doctor had seen were at least twice my age and most did exhibit all 18 of the classic trigger points as I did. I fought to hold back tears as my doctor talked about how I should avoid full-time work, sitting in the same position for a long time (desk work and a job that required lots of driving were out). He told me the cold weather and stress would make my problems worse and on and on. I’m sure he said other things but I had heard enough. I was 23 years old. I had just graduated three months earlier top of my class with a master’s degree in Journalism and Communications. I had just started my first “real” job at a public relations firm and was fighting desperately against my health to hold onto this full-time position. What on earth was I supposed to do? I’m single; I had to work to support myself. My mind raced with the what ifs. This was the start of my journey with chronic pain.

Its now 2 ½ years later and in some ways I feel like I’ve grown leaps and bounds from who I was that day in the doctor’s office. Other times I feel like I’m still sitting there in the shock, disbelief, sadness and anger over my diagnosis. I know I am far from alone in this journey and in fact I know that many people experience far worse trials than me. So this brings me to the blog. I believe God wants to use me to bring comfort to those experiencing pain. Increasingly He has put many people in path who are struggling with various medical problems. I’ve wrestled with starting this blog because I honestly often feel like a failure at joyfully enduring these trials and I most certainly do not want to appear prideful like I have all the “answers”. However, lucky for me God uses imperfect people because none of us are perfect. Scripture is full of God using weak people that the world overlooks. I pray that my blog will be a place where I can share my story and struggles, the things the Lord is teaching me, the mistakes I’ve made and will make and the lessons I’ve learned along the way. Most importantly, I want to be able to pray for and encourage those who have chronic pain/disease or a family member/friend with chronic pain/disease. I am also passionate about seeing people know Jesus and why it is that He came to earth, died and rose again for our sins. He is my reason for living. I am happy at any time to answer questions related to faith or pray for specific requests. Thank you for reading and taking this journey with me!