Wednesday, July 27, 2016

When your body has had enough...

Each time I sit down to write a post on health issues, especially my own, I cringe. I don't like to draw attention to myself. I know some people might not see how a blogger can feel that way, but I don't like to put myself out there for people to judge... me, my life, or my opinions. When I first had the heart attacks 13 years ago and was faced with a hard reality, I vowed I would never let my health issues define me.





I so appreciate all of you who care enough about what I and many others with serious health concerns deal with, but at the same time I don't ever want to come across as wanting sympathy. I share what I'm going through with the sole desire of maybe giving some insight for any of you out there facing health problems or situations that can be confusing and frustrating. There have been periods in my life when I've ditched the medical and pharmaceutical route to try natural and homeopathic information and remedies. I've been told by doctors, especially before I had the cardiovascular diagnosis, that I just "wanted attention", was a hypochondriac, or it was "all in my head". I think many women have had that said to them. We don't have symptoms that are "by the book" and oftentimes, doctors ditch us and try to make us feel stupid so we will go away because they can't put our symptoms in a box and tie it up with a big bow.

If you read my blog regularly you already know that my heart situation is hereditary. My Dad and brother had the same thing and they are both in Heaven. I was in my late 40's, a normal weight, exercised and walked several miles a day with my hubby. I've never been the person who ate cheeseburgers, fries, and a shake every day, or routinely ate a Snickers bar, or lived off doughnuts. My diet was good. Each time I talk about heart disease I get a well meaning person, trying to tell me how to eat and exercise; that that will take care of the problem. I'm not perfect, but diet is not my issue. I've had all the blood tests that identify genetic markers, and let me just say, each one lit up like a Christmas tree.





Seven years ago, after trying all the natural things, I had to get back in the medical system. I'd just had an event and found out that I had another artery at 95% occlusion. So began a long road of medications and doctors; then 3 years ago even more serious problems due to blood clots. That meant daily blood thinners on top of all my heart meds. I'm not going to go through all that, but what I've ended up with this last year, is finding that my body has been totally rebelling. Things I've done for years were now not working any more. So now I'm trying to unravel the damage of years of multiple medications, compounded by side effects, allergic reactions, and most recently chemical sensitivities. 

After finally getting a many year anemia problem under control, I've still had the same symptoms that have taken me down this last year. (we still don't know why, but we're working on it) The main symptoms have been fatigue, weakness, dizziness (every day, all day), GI problems, and headaches; not to mention times when I couldn't think straight, memory problems, and the inability to put more than a few words together in a sentence. You haven't heard much from me? wonder why I don't comment much? don't have the same pizazz and interesting blog posts? that's the reason. After my last new Dr. appointment I had to come to the realization that I was going to have to do some investigation work into everything that was going into my body. Doctors can do some of it, but I knew it was going to be up to me to start sorting through and weeding out everything that was going into my body and looking to see what the culprits might be. 




It's been kinda like peeling an onion this last several months. I was naive to think my problems could be the result of just "one thing". I was hoping that having the surgical heart procedure a few months ago would take care of all my health concerns. I thought that getting better blood flow and more oxygen into my system would be the magic wand to transform me back to where I had been even 6 or 7 years ago. That was just the start of this process, but an important "start". If your cardiovascular system isn't doing it's job then you've got more problems than being dizzy.

I'm a Spiritual person; not a religious person, but a person that has a relationship with Jesus Christ. I'm not all bound up in the "traditions of men" ways of thinking. I believe in God's Word that He is ultimately my Healer. Does He work through doctors? yes. Does He do miracles today? Absolutely! But He also wants us to consult Him first for wisdom, guidance, and timing with all aspects of our lives. If you think God is not interested in your daily life and well being, then let me encourage you to seek Him for His perspective and help. Trusting God, has been the key thing that has kept me going, even when some days were the absolute pit.



Proverbs 3:5-8New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your [a]body
And refreshment to your bones.

I'll share what I've found out recently. Each day I've put one foot in front of the other, and stuck with the program. I've had my eyes opened to some areas in my daily life where I've been uninformed, and I guess, also in denial. This isn't just information for those that are having health problems, but info that you can remember and share with others that might be experiencing similar situations.


to be continued...

xoxo,


sharing my story here:

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45 comments:

  1. Debra - Here is hoping and praying for your health to return to normal. I know when John was sick, meaning well friends would say "trust in the Lord and everything will be okay". I appreciate their concern but soon realized that some of our medical team were the finest Christians I've ever met. When your doctor will stop and pray with you when things look so dim, you have to believe that the Lord sent them into your life. So, do what you have to do and what you feel is best for you.

    Love you and praying for you daily.

    Judy

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    1. thankyou, Judy. you're such a dear. I know you've been through so much, and you've kept going. You're such a blessing to those of us out here that feel like you're a personal friend. You're an example of what God desires us to be as a loving Christian wife, mother, caretaker, and friend. xoxo Deb

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  2. I think it's great that you are sharing your health issues and it is very brave of you. You don't want sympathy and I get it. But, I do have empathy for you. I hope you can feel the power of my thoughts and prayers for you. I have struggled with my own chronic medical condition, and there are times that I have felt very lonely. I think it's important to have others who can understand. Thanks for this blog post.
    Best & Bisous,
    Michelle from Simply Santa Barbara

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    1. you said a mouthfull Michelle, feeling alone is a huge part of the problem. Unless a person has "been there" with health issues, they just can't understand, no matter how caring and sympathetic they are. thankyou for the prayers. xoxo

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  3. I find that when I share health issues, I get emails that someone else has the same thing and wants what info I have and vice versa. I think it is this communication, women helping other women, that helps us get through things. I also know that age has factored in to almost everything that is wrong with me. So I have to look at it through the eyes of someone 59 years old and not 40. Our bodies change. Menopause and all that too. We're all here for you. We want to know how you are.
    Brenda

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    1. I agree 100% Brenda, women helping women needs to be our primary motive. I need to remember it's not about me, but about sharing information that will help others. thank you for your always honest posts, I know many people identify with all that you've shared, xoxo Deb

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  4. To be continued???? No!!!!!! I will be anxiously waiting to hear what you've discovered. I completely understand how debilitating it can be dealing with a chronic illness. I can relate to having meds not work well enough. I can relate to not understanding why you suddenly have a new symptom that you didn't have before and a doctor just dismissing it as not a big deal. I now receive Remicade infusions for my auto immune disease. I can't tell you how SICK I am of people telling me to change my diet and that will do the trick too. Really???? We don't need doctors anymore, just nutritionists? Not true. I've read how restrictive those diets are. I'm not sure there is much out there you CAN eat without it hurting you somehow. Plus, I've read many forums with people that share my disease that you STILL need the meds despite changing the diet. So, Remicade will have to do it for me. So far so good too! I go back on Friday for another infusion. I see other people getting chemo therapy there so it's a HUGE reminder that things could be worse! If this is as bad as my health ever gets, then I can handle it. I also believe in God and the power of prayer. I believe he puts us on the path that we're meant to be on even if it includes health problems. He may be teaching us something or using us to help others. Mine is also hereditary. We can't change what genes we were given! I even passed it on to my son. I hate that! He is only 22 and has an auto immune disease. I think we're all battling something. Although, I do know of some people that have been lucky and don't have to take any meds but that is just the journey that God put them on. That is not my journey. I've come to accept it so I can keep a positive perspective. I am so sorry to hear that you have been dealing with all of this for SO long! Heart issues are scary. I get SVT's every now and then and they take hours to go away. I'm dizzy, out of breath, my limbs feel heavy. I've seen a cardiologist and they couldn't find a cause other than anxiety bringing it on. Gee, I wonder why I have that???!!!! Ha! I'm looking forward to the rest of your post on this subject. You are not boring me with it. It's helpful to know that we are all human and not just the perfect pictures we display on our blogs. Take care!

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    1. Hi Kelly, I've been with you on your journey with RA. It runs in my family also. Autoimmune conditions and diseases are something that I have experience with, and I'm vigilant concerning MS and Lupus. I so understand your feelings about your son. I have two grown daughters who I pray daily don't have what I have. I'm so glad you have found a medication that is working well for you, watch out for the arrythmias! I really appreciate the time you took to share your thoughts and encouragement! xoxo

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  5. Debra,
    I do understand that it is difficult to talk about your health concerns on your blog, dear friend!
    But as you stated, you may be helping others that are going through the same or similar circumstances. Be brave and of good courage, dear one!
    I admire you and your extraordinary style of balancing new and vintage decor!
    That is the main reason I began following your blog!
    When I found out you were a Mid~Western Lady from my neighboring State,
    I was stuck like glue!
    Please know that my daily prayers are with you, dear one, as you strive to find answers!
    Fondly,
    Pat

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    1. dear Pat, I'm sure you've been told, but you have a God-given gift and talent. You're blessed with the true gift of encouragement and kindness. You never fail to bless not only me, but everyone you visit. Thankyou for your genuine thoughtfullness, I always appreciate you coming by! xoxo

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  6. Debra!! Bravo to you!! I think that you sharing your personal health issues and trials with all of us is such a great thing and puts such a personal touch to your blog that I believe is so important. None of us live perfect lives and those that try to tell the world that they do are hiding the most skeletons in their closets.
    I was sitting on the edge of my seat reading this post. I am looking forward to what else you will be sharing with us. Many of us suffer from health issues. I myself have an auto immune disease with a whole gamut of symptoms including fatigue, heat sensitivity, GI problems, Joint and muscle issues, etc.Cardiac issues also run in my family and I am tested yearly for that along with Lupus which my sister and oldest niece have.
    I look forward to hearing more from you!! As a cancer survivor, I learned a long time ago to kiss it all up to God, placing my life in his hands..... Prayers being sent to you!
    Hugs,
    Debbie

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    1. thank you Debbie. I do really believe we all have trials and problems that are hard to share. Thankyou for putting yourself out there, I understand what you're going through. I pray that you will see improvement and not have to deal with any other health problems, sometimes it just gets to be too much. I LOVE the phrase you used, I could see you do it. "Kiss it all up to God". How perfect! xoxo Deb

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  7. Oh sweet Debra how I pray that you will soon experience all good days! I have a family member in my household with hereditary high cholesterol. None of us are overweight, we exercise and I fix healthful meals and snacks from organic whole ingredients. They still must have medication. People don't understand or become frustrated that their brilliant words of advice will not fix the problem. So I say very little. I understand and I am here for you dear friend!

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    1. thankyou, Laura! that's me, high cholesterol even on two different drugs. that were making me very very ill. I'm hoping to get in on a trial with one of the new ones that is injectable. It's pretty hard to know your doctor is unhappy when you eat very little but still not where they want your numbers to be. I've learned there's no magic formula that fits each person. I appreciate you so very much! xoxo Deb

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    2. thankyou, Laura! that's me, high cholesterol even on two different drugs. that were making me very very ill. I'm hoping to get in on a trial with one of the new ones that is injectable. It's pretty hard to know your doctor is unhappy when you eat very little but still not where they want your numbers to be. I've learned there's no magic formula that fits each person. I appreciate you so very much! xoxo Deb

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  8. Don't ever feel bad about sharing your personal life. I'm so sorry that you still aren't feeling well. I'll be praying for you and will check back in.
    I feel good, by and large but live with a chronic pain situation. It can be so frustrating. I can't imagine what you are going through.

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    1. thanks Katie, I'm finally getting the angina under control so I know what dealing with a chronic pain problem is about. If we're not careful it can dominate our life. I appreciate you sharing. We're finding that many of us have common situations. xoxo Deb

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  9. Thank you so much for sharing your journey. At the height of my all-time healthy self, I had a heart attack at 47. What?!? Yes, it is hereditary but mostly in the male members of my family. I am also a diabetic and in the last eight months my meds have failed me. So now I am off on a new set of meds and a super strict diet. So far so good. I will keep you close in prayer.

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    1. thanks for sharing with the rest of us Donna! A heart attack in our 40's can just be devastating. I have diabetes on both sides, so I'm really trying to be vigilant against it. I hope your new meds do it for you! xoxo Deb

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  10. I know from where you come. An oafish PA told me all my problems were from stress. He was right that some are, but I know my own body and he's not totally right. My "real" doctor suggested I read a book called "When the body says no." That nailed it. I recognized bro and sis, who died younger than they should have. And my mother, who lived longer than she deserved to. (If she was not your 'mother,' you have no idea). And there I was in the book, too, with a pile of surgical scars and medical issues. It's hard to sort it all out, but that PA is going to be surprised if the family curse of heart issues turns up in me eventually.
    You are smart to try sorting it out on your own and realizing that "all in your head" is dismissive, but actually can be spot on in some ways. It's in your whole body, not just you head. The heart issues can kill you, and my husband went out that way, with his family history of heart deaths from way back on the family tree. It's a mixed bag, for sure, and I appreciate you being willing to share your story with us. My dear sister kept so much bottled up and was too nice, as I read the cancer treatment nurses observe about many of their chemo patients. I was determined not to let my mother win, so figure that was the thing that kept me alive longer than any of my siblings, except the one who has been a long term cardiac cripple--and she's still younger than I am. Thank heaven I'm not ever going there!!!! It's a good life or a good end for me! Thanks again for sharing your story. I empathize, but don't sympathize, which can be patronizing...at least I'm told that......

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  11. I am a firm believer in 'we lean on each other and we are stronger for it' .
    ugh!! health issues.... I have had a bit of experience in dealing with that. Experienced Dr's scratching their heads.... I am glad for the fact that my MD. Was a woman who listened to me and sent me to the hospital, then a specialist. It happened very quickly . My body had learned how to cope and I thought I was doing well, until the bottom fell out. The diagnosis was a disease with no cure. Just treatment and a change in the way I ate. But yes, a daily battle. Daily I deal with fatigue, listlessness, dizziness.... people telling me what to eat, now to eat.... I li a pretty healthy balanced life. Food and exercise when o can. Before all this, had less than two percent body fat. I was fit and I thought healthy!!! Like you now I put one foot forth daily and keep going until night fall.
    Big hugs!!
    Gee

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  12. Much love to you and prayers for your healing!

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  13. I will be thinking of you. I enjoy your blog. Take care of yourself and let us know every once in a while how you are. We'll be waiting.

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  14. Thank you sharing your story!! I'm 62 and had health issues beginning at age 11. I received my sisters kidney when I was 24!! Your words, thoughts, "FEELINGS" are real and it takes COURAGE to tell your journey thus far. Praying...Cindy H

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  15. Debra, for me personally, I want to say THANK YOU for being so real and putting yourself out there. That's our problem now as women...we are afraid to be truthful with our thoughts and feelings in fear of what others may say or think. I learned a long time as a Women's Bible Study teacher that the truth is "WOMEN really DO WANT REAL" even if they can't be....or will not admit it! Praying for you this morning sweet lady and oh yes....Our Lord indeed is the great and mighty healer! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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  16. Debra,
    I think you are very brave to put yourself out here in the Blog World. You are an inspiration for others that are dealing with health problems. Please know that I'm pulling for you and praying that you are on the road to healing and well being. I'll keep you in my thoughts.

    hugs,
    Sissie

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  17. You are very brave to share your journey. I wish you good health and sending you hugs.

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  18. I am sad to read all the comments with women with unknown health problems that change the quality of their lives so radically. I too face an up-hill battle different that yours, but have spent years as a guinea pig with meds and worse. I too try to figure out what the heck is going on. I give a big sister/girlfriend hug to all those that suffer with health and mental issues. White light and love all around!!!!!

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  19. I must share something with you and your other friends. About 3 years ago I went in for my mammogram. As we all sat in our little chairs with the cozy robes snuggled around us a lady came into the room with all of the rest of us. She dropped her purse and coat into the chair next to mine and burst into tears. I felt so sorry for this poor stranger that I got up and hugged her to comfort her as I was sure that she had just gotten bad news. Suddenly every single lady in that room stood up and joined in the group hug. She then told us what was really going on. She had felt that she HAD to be brave, but she had just found out that she had just been cleared and did NOT have breast cancer. Suddenly it was impossible to hold those tears back. That was a wonderful memory. Isn't it wonderful how supportive women can be in stressful times. These other ladies are right in that we all face different problems, but we all stick together and support one another. A precious friend of mine is a minister and told me something useful last night. She said that we often hear someone ask why God is doing this TO them. She then shared that one of her lowest points recently made her realized that HE had given her a challenge FOR her to use to teach her that her current life was bad for her health. Yes she had suffered , but God gave her something much better. Changing that one word from TO TO FOR made me less resistant to changes. I,too had heart disease coming at me from every direction and from both sides of the family. In 2010 I had a heart attack and needed a quintuple bypass. I have done amazingly well, but have the same brain fog that you refer to from the medications. I pray that you will find the answers that you seek. Sending a piece of a group hug from Virginia

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  20. Debra, I am so sorry to hear that you are still not feeling well. I imagine it is a lonely journey to travel when answers are not quickly coming like they should and that the docs occasionally don't feel that they have the answers that you need or that you don't know how your body is reacting to certain things and why. I know that I have been so fortunate health wise even though I have had some demanding issues, but at 76 years old they could have been so much worse. Of course, it does matter what you put in your body, as a lot of foods, and how they are prepared, are not good for you, but when my daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer, and I know of no person healthier that she, that theory could never be the whole reason for bad health. My issues were dealt with and then went away, for the time being anyway, so I don't really know how you are feeling, because of experience, but I have such empathy for you because of my experiences and for always knowing how bad and scary it could be. I hope things will start turning around for you and do not feel that you are complaining about anything. Thank you for sharing your journey and take care of yourself. Every word you say will be of help to someone..Judy

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  21. Debra, I wouldn't judge you for sharing this very personal information with your readers. And I'd never think you are doing it for attention. You're brave to let us go through this with you. I think it helps others who may be going through something similar. I've had blood clots and can't imagine having to deal with other issues at the same time. God bless you! I am interested in reading the rest of your story and very much appreciate you taking the time and energy to let us know what is going on. I pray that you will be lead to the medical personnel and others who will find the answers to everything that will bring you peace and good health. All the best!

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  22. Judge not, lest ye be judged. You need not apologize or anything. You are human, we all are. We're here for you, for one another. My blog isn't just decor or teacups - it is the human side of my happies and sads, as well. Glad you are real. I hate your health has been such a concern.

    Praying for you, and wishing you well, always, dear lady.

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  23. Aging is not for the weak hearted. I applaud you for putting your issues out there because you know that at least 1 person (and I am sure many) will benefit from reading this.

    Thanks for sharing with SYC.

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  24. Hi Debbie, I love your open and honest post. I hide my health problems from almost everyone because most people don't want to hear about it anyway. I see my doctors do some home side healing. I lost my husband and three children due to health problems, they just couldn't cope being around someone with long standing health problems that will not go away in this lifetime. So I just keep it to myself and do a lot of journaling and praying. Thank you so much for sharing. I am looking forward to part 2. xx J

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  25. Praying for you dear friend! I know it isn't easy to share this but you mostly likely are helping SO many with similar health issues! Sending HUGS and healing PRAYERS your way!

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  26. Praying for you, Debra. Sending warm thoughts.

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  27. Sending prayers. It can be a very complex and confusing experience to find answers to health issues. Thanks for sharing your journey.

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  28. Vulnerability is the greatest gift any person can give another.... you and your blog have always been a blessing to me, Debra. How can someone who creates so much beauty in her home not also have a beautiful soul.... No one escapes this life without trials. This one, I'm sorry to say, has been yours. I pray for your healing and if not healing for peace, for strength....you know that footprints in the sand quote? Well, perhaps you are carrying us through our trials and in turn I hope we are carrying you through yours. Bless you for sharing who you are...

    “We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection. - Brené Brown,

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  29. Sharing your Health Journey or anything that personal isn't an easy decision, but I wholeheartedly agree that in the Sharing it is therapeutic to be Heard even if just here in the Land of Blog...and very often can Inspire others 'going through' their own Issues of Life. Good Health is a Blessing we often take for granted until it's suddenly not Good... and genetics can indeed contribute to the risk factors as much as lifestyle. I Pray you find some helpful ways to feel somewhat better... Aging is a privilege not afforded to many, but it can certainly have it's particular Challenges to adjust to!!! Virtual Hugs coming to you from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

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  30. I'm looking forward to reading more of your discoveries, Debra. You have been through so much, yet you provide inspiration for so many of us. Our family is on a journey with genetic heart arrhythmias right now, and it has been hard to keep my head above water dealing with it all, along with my own health issues. My prayers are with you...xoxo

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  31. Debra, I think of you often and what you are dealing with. I can not imagine trying to figure out what is the right thing to do. Through all of this your faith has remained strong! I do think that the good Lord works through doctors and miracles do happen. Praying that things will turn around for you!! Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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