Why "71º & Sunny?"

I consider 71º to be the perfect temperature. Not too cold and not too hot. I also love perfect sunny days. The vast majority of days are not 71º & Sunny and yet, all days were created by God's hand and they are still gifts, even if they don't fit my ridiculous definition of perfection. My struggle with OCD has at times imprisoned me in an impossible attempt to achieve perfection. I'm now learning to love all kinds of days that don't even come close to 71º & Sunny.

Please leave me a comment below. I really want to know what you are thinking!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

What A Difference A Year Makes

Exactly one year ago yesterday, the love of my life was admitted to the hospital with a very severe flare-up of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. By December 2, 2010, my husband had been extremely ill for the entire previous month with uncontrollable diarrhea, intestinal bleeding, high fevers (as high as 103.6), a weird rash, dehydration, weakness due to anemia, massive weight loss, and abdominal pain so bad that it even caused him to vomit a few times. On the day he was admitted, I thought more than once that this might be his last day with me on earth. We were told that the treatment he would receive in the hospital would end the bleeding and restore him to health. When he was released 11 days later, he was somewhat better, but not anywhere near close to normal. The diarrhea and bleeding had slowed down, but still continued to be problematic. The abdominal pain was also still serious.

At this point, it was mid-December, my husband had been sick for a month and a half, and we were completely dejected. With no end in sight, we were unsure of what the future held. Would he ever live a normal life again? We couldn't even take a 15 minute ride to the doctor's office without having to worry about finding a bathroom on the way. We wondered, would he be able to work? What about health insurance and medical bills? Why was this happening? I walked though the month of December in a daze. I didn't even know which way was up or down. I'm also embarrassed to say that this experience exposed a lot of holes in my relationship with Jesus.

Finally, on December 23rd (yes, I remember the exact day) my husband was given an infusion of medication that changed our lives. In less than 18 hours the bleeding completely stopped. Over the next few months his health continued to improve dramatically. Our lives are almost completely returned to normal.

I'm sharing this story because I want you to know that no matter how bad today looks, it does not mean that tomorrow, next week, or next year will look the same. There was a time when my OCD was so bad, I did not want to live. Now, I can honestly say that joy has returned to my life. My life is not perfect. I still struggle with OCD. My husband's health has never quite returned to normal. In fact we got a call this week about some abnormalities with his blood work and the need for more testing. But there is still room for joy. We are not overwhelmed or despondent anymore. Hang on. Things do not stay terrible forever. With the help of my Heavenly Father and with the help of those He has put in my life (my family, friends, and a top-notch psychologist) life has gotten better. Not perfect, but definitely sweeter.

Coincidentally, this happens to be Crohn's & Colitis Awareness Week. If you are interested in learning more, visit the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America at www.ccfa.org.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for your inspiring words. It is so helpful to be reminded that things don't stay terrible forever. I am glad your husband's health improved.

    Hope is so hard to hold onto. It helps to have reminders like yours.

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