Friday, October 29, 2010

Fridays on Faith

Before the Morning.......

It all began last fall. If you go back through my blog from last fall, the story starts to unfold. I had no idea what was really going on. It all began with a swollen toe and went dramatically downhill from there. From November through May I was a complete wreck. I did all I could to hold it together and stay optimistic. And when that didn't work, I waited for my husband to get home and went under my covers and cried so the boys wouldn't see me. There were even a few times that I just cried right in front of them. I prayed and I prayed and I prayed. I read my bible and I prayed. I found some amazing things there. For another post.

Chronic pain is something I can barely describe. It grips you and it's always there. Distracting you and taking you away from your current focus. It hurts and it's annoying and I can see why people get addicted to pain killers. I will never again look down on someone who gets addicted. I actually never took more than ALOT of tylenol but I can see and totally understand why one would get addicted. Chronic pain is like a slow torture.

So, what happened was this. I was ultimately diagnosed with Reactive Arthritis. While I thought this would go away on it's own, I was told by the rheumatologist that this would not happen. Due to my medical history with recurrent iritis and all my other stuff, I would be one of those who gets it and keeps it. I fought going on the drugs. I knew in my heart, deep down, that they weren't right. The drugs are very dangerous, which they really brush over quickly. They are chemo drugs and in addition to lots of bad side effects (think chemo side effects) they deplete your immune system increasing your risk of infection AND cancer. The quarterly Rheumatology report actually warned last winter that the drugs greatly increase the risk of cancer in pediatric patients and warned against using them. This wasn't some natural advocate looney warning against this. This was the actual field of Rheumatology. Cancer just doesn't seem like a fair trade-off here.

But they pushed and they pushed. They seemed really desperate for me to go on them in fact. Which seemed wierd to me. I was happy with Celebrex and wanted to wait it out and see if I could get better on my own. The last Rheumy I saw was on Feb 24th. A day I will never forget. I thought if I saw a female I would find some more compassion or help or something. Nothing against males but you know, when y our sick, you usually call your momma! Well, she started out nice but then she changed her tone and said these things, "you are in denial and if you do not go on these drugs, you WILL end up in a wheelchair". "you need to take this information home and think about whether you want to be able to take care of you two small children". When I said, "if I were to go on the drugs....what if I want more kids...she said, "you won't be able to have more kids". G.U.L.P. In fact, one of the drugs they were just dying for me to go on was actually the one they use for the "abortion pill" and the injections are also listed as an X on the list of compatible with pregnancy lists. This means, any baby conceived in my womb would eventually die there-in my womb due to the potency of the drugs. Again, this was not a fair trade-off. This was my life and my legacy being determined by a prescription pad. A very costly prescription pad.

But you know what, I knew, the whole time that she and they were not going to be my way to recovery. They wanted to just push drugs on me. Drugs that while very dangerous, don't even treat the real problem. Drugs that just treat the symptoms and provide a band-aid effect. Drugs that are VERY expensive (1500-2000/mo!!!!). Drugs that they likely get kickbacks for...........
Some people will balk back and say, "oh no, they don't get kickbacks, that's illegal!" But, just because something is illegal doesn't mean people don't do it. Especially when we are talking about big money here. I have no proof but along the journey I have discovered some pretty serious real life evidence to make the case for this. I will never discuss it here but it is enough for me to know that I will not be another victim.

Enter the hope.

God was with me through the whole journey. Many verses of promised healing found through the random "flop open the bible and see where it lands" method. I will discuss those in another Fridays on Faith post. Mainly, God did promise and ultimately provided healing.

Through prayer and friend who knew " a lady", I found a woman who had been diagnosed with a similar condition 20 years ago but was somehow just fine 20 years later. So we emailed. And she told me about her story and about the wonderful Dr. who helped her. So, I called my mom to come watch the boys and hopped in my car. On a cold and stormy February morning, I drove for 3 hours all by myself to see this doctor.

From there, the story turned around. Dr. Dobson is a kind, compassionate and full-of-energy man in his 60's who has been helping people for the past 20 years with this method of diagnosis called muscle testing. Many times when I mention that to other doctors or medical people they sorta roll their eyes or get a look of "ohhhh, one of those people". I'm not sure what that is about but I can only imagine it has to do with the vast difference between the medical model of treating only symptoms, which drives the success of the pharmaceutical industry vs. the wholisitic, natural approach which looks at the entire person and treats the underlying issue. I don't know what it is but it's different.

Anyway, Dr. Dobson told me that he wasn't as much interested in my symptoms as he was interested in finding out what is causing my symptoms and treating that. He told me that most disease states of malfunctions of the body are caused by one of the following thing: viral infection, bacterial infection, traumatic injury, stress, and a few others that I forget. Anyway, my testing indicated that I had 2 different types of infections which had likely been ongoing off and on for many many years for me. Many of my little symptoms over the years matched this diagnosis.

He put me on some very whole nutrition to treat the infections. By this I don't mean vitamins or supplements. It was actual pills but it is seriously made from real whole foods and even animals. At one point I was taking beef bone DNA to heal the bone damage caused by the inflammation. Another time in the healing I was taking spleen of a cow as one infection was in my spleen. I know! That sounds super, duper weirdo crazy right! But it worked! It took about 6 months but I slowly but surely got better!

Remember, I was told by the Rheums that I would NEVER get better and that I would be in a WHEELCHAIR and that I could not have anymore children. And they were dead serious.

Lucky for me, God doesn't work that way. When you ask for healing, God provides you a way. And a how. I'm telling you, this is not some made up story. This really happened to ME! I really thought my old life was over and I would be walking around hunched over, limping and maybe using a wheelchair at my boys' basketball games. Actually, I NEVER really thought that but those thoughts entered my mind. Fear entered my mind alot!

What a drastic difference from what I was told by Doctors to what I was promised from God. Today I claim full healing from God. I will still follow up with Dr. Dobson regularly to stay on top of my health but I have no fear of the future. I get up in the mornings and can run down the stairs, where at one time, I gripped the banister and stepped on slow, painful step at a time.
When I get up in the morning and step on my feet, they feel like MY FEET where before it was so painful to stand and step getting out bed I had to hold onto the bed to step on them. Today, I can open a jar without wanting to whip it across the room at my husband. Before if it was screwed on at all tight, I couldn't budge it. Today I can do a downdog (yoga) with no problem. Before I couldn't be on all fours without my wrists giving out. I could go on and on and ON with all the functions I had lost or had to work around. You should have seen my right hand last winter. I could barely open it up. My 3 fingers were starting to deform and it felt like a sledgehammer was being pounded on them. Today, I am typing away with zilcho, zippo and pain and if I wanted I would never do this....but if I wanted to....I could give my old Rhuemy's the middle finger-fully outstretched! Speaking of Rheumies, you know, I never saw another one after Feb 24th! And I know I will never see another one again.

Today, my body is MY OLD BODY again! Actually, it's healthier than it was even years ago I'm sure. I have zero pain. ZERO PAIN. ZERO SWELLING. ZERO INFLAMMATION! I have been made new! God has healed me. And to sweeten the pot just a little more, He carefully placed a beautiful new creation into my womb to be "fearfully and wonderfully made".

When I found out I was pregnant again, I called Dr. Dobson to tell him the news. He told me that it is not uncommon for women in childbearing age to easily get pregnant once they get rid of their infections. Again, what a drastic difference from the thought of "you will never be able to have more kids" to honey.......guess what?!

The song I am sharing today is an incredible description of my journey. I found it last spring and I can't even tell you how many times I listened and fist pumped to it! Yes, I fist pumped in a hopeful way. Leighton knows all the words to this song and loves it! It truly was and is my anthem of healing. The words and the emotion in this video could not be more fitting.

All of that. All of that there last year. For me, it was just the dark before the morning.

Before The Morning feat. John Ford-Dunker from Bethel Church on Vimeo.

So....would you DARE to believe?


Michelle H. said... eyes are brimming with tears because I so vividly remember praying for you and hoping with you that God would provide another method of healing. NOW, I rejoice along with you that HE did!!! Love this post, love answered prayer! :)

Darrel said...

Oh Shannon what a testimony to our Mighty Heavenly Father who created us, who loves us, sustains us, and takes care of us when we faithfully turn to Him. What a testimony of the Power, of the Truth of God’s own Word who gave it to us in the bible to help us, lead us, and save us. Only those who have chronic constant pain can really understand your story.

Shannon Joy said...

Michelle....I remember those days so well! I wanted to come to Mops feeling wonderful and normal, but that's not where I was! I can't tell you what it means to me that you were praying. Isn't it amazing to know that God hears us and comes to our rescue! Thank you, thank, thank you!

Yes, Darrel, chronic pain is just miserable and words can't even describe it.......I will never forget that pain. I am forever grateful to have recieved such a blessing in answer to desperate prayers.

Lindsay said...

Oh Praise the Lord! Obviously I got a heads up on this when you sent me that lovely email about your chiro - but I didn't realize how bad your pain actually was! Awesome news - and even more awesome to find such a wonderfully caring doctor!

Shannon Joy said...

Thanks Linds! Yes, you know how we mom's do it....we put on a smile and we pretend we are fine. It was a tough one but I am so thankful and blessed that I am on the other side.

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