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Saturday, December 22, 2007

A Thorn in My Flesh

I will just put it out there at the beginning and I hope you will forgive my honesty.

I am struggling. There I said it. It's out there for everyone to read.

I am not usually a person to struggle in this way. I have seen some very tough things in my life and God has always seemed to protect my heart through it all. But, now, it seems that this is going to be allowed to burden my heart and make it heavier than I have ever known it.

As I write, it seems so trivial. I read other accounts of people who have very ill children and I think that I am being a wimp and then I don't say anything about it. But, as you can see, I haven't written in a while and it is because I am...depressed.

It started about three months ago when I started gaining all the weight back that I had lost. I was exercising and eating right and still gained about 20lbs. The Dr. visit came next that said that my thyroid levels and my calcium levels were wrong. So, they upped my medicines and off I went. Then, while I was seeing the Dr. for something totally unrelated, he dropped the bombshell on me. Hypocalcemia/Hypoparathyroidism is a life-long chronic problem. He said that at 6 months out from surgery, someone would have about a 5% chance of recovery. However, since I am going on a year and a half, there was no chance of recovery and now we go to survival mode. I didn't ask any questions, I just tried to get out of there before I started blubbering like an idiot. I did that on the way home and on the phone with dh.

Now, for some of you who don't have any idea what I am talking about, I will give you a very brief idea. I had my thyroid out in August of '06 and somehow my parathyroid glands were jostled and shocked. The parathyroid glands control the levels of calcium in your body(blood calcium) and when they don't work right, you don't store calcium you just use it up and then are depleted. What happens after that is very painful and debilitating.

When you don't have enough calcium in your muscles, they don't work right. They start contracting and they don't stop until the body pulls calcium from somewhere else in your body. So, the muscles contract and that causes the hands to curl around on themselves and the arms to curl up on the body rendering them useless. The toes can curl up or down depending on which way they were used last. The neck can pull down and forward, or to either side, or to the back. The face can also contort into unrecognizable features. The jaw can also lock open or shut. All the while the muscle feels like it is in a perpetual charlie-horse. It is very painful and after it is over you feel like you have been working out for a week and the muscles are sore and tired.

I have tried to have a good attitude about all of this when it has happened in public; but, people look at you differently when your hand is curled up and looks gnarly or your face is in a constant angry stare. It is very hard to drive with out the use of your fingers and the tag office will not sign your check even if your hand is cramping so hard that you can't get the pen out of it for an hour after using it at their office.

I digress! This has been going on for a year and a half and I think that I have dealt with it pretty well until now. Now when there seems to be no hope of any relief. I am not in despair. To despair is to turn one's back on God. I am not there, yet. I am sinking deeper into wanting to stay home and be by myself and around my dh and kids who will not look at me weird or with looks of pity in their eyes when the crisis is happening. I am starting to pull away from people and trying to guard myself from them. I don't really want to, it is just easier than dealing with people feeling sorry for me. Logically, I can see that they are people who care and want to help. But, my heart is embarrassed and angry.

I am not very good at asking people for help. I will usually do things on my own rather than bother someone else. It is very hard for me to admit that I can not do something and even harder to impose on someone else. I am struggling.

I am out of words at the moment. My heart is heavy with concern at the effect this is having on the kids and especially with the way I am handling it. I know that there are opportunities for them to grow and learn more about God and His provision---I am just not there, yet.

If you see me on the street, I will tell that things are fine. If you push, I will tell you about some other things that are going on right now. But, I will not share this with you right now. It is just too tender and raw.

Just because someone says that all is going well doesn't mean that it is. We should listen to the Holy Spirit and lift those people up when He prompts.

Enough of my whining. I have some great pictures of school, our Christmas tree, and other things, I just can't find the cable to connect the camera to the computer!!! So, when I find it I will post them. :)


Romany said...


I have a little time this am to check new blogs and I just found yours. I am so sorry to hear what you have been going through. Praying now, that when you wake up today (Christmas morning) you will be full of joy and renewed hope.

Dorothy (Oxfordshire)

Kristine said...

Renita. I am praying for you, for your family. This seems to be a really tough year for a LOT of us on SHS, and someone else pointed out that this is the season for warfare. I echo Dorothy's comment about finding renewed hope this Christmas and new year.

Mike Hearne said...

Renita (I type this name with love in my fingers, mind and heart)
Your family is always in our prayers, but will be more specific now. I appreciate your sharing and I know it was hard since you are such as private person. My sister who lives in Jackson, Mississippi is going through Myasthenia Gravis which impacts her face muscles, speech and stamina. She has three young children and is working out the 'thorn in the flesh' situation. I am only telling you this because you and her have so much in common, including home schooling.

All our love in Christ,
mike and carol hearne

berrypatch said...

I am so sorry you are having to deal with such a painful & chronic condition. It's never easy. I'll be keeping you in my prayers.