Friday, October 25, 2013

A Word Aptly Spoken

Proverbs 25:11 says "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver."
This has been a verse that I've thought a lot about since I was about 10.  It's gone around and around in my head. This is probably the main thing I have asked God for in my life as far as character...I've asked for wisdom in words.  I've failed over and over and over and over again when I speak to people to boost their souls. I've failed relentlessly in a word fitly spoken.  But still I desire this.  I desire it strongly.   And I'm beginning to see that God is giving me one of my heart's desires that's for me.  We all have heart's desires for many circumstances and often they are for other people. But this is one of my strongest for me personally.  I am beginning to think it takes time to gain this gift.  It takes life experience so one has the compassion, experience, and wisdom to be able to speak these kinds of life-giving words.  
I think one of our biggest privileges is to be able to cheer each other on.  This week I got to sit down with a friend and we got to chat.  We got to sharpen each other.  It really set me to thinking even more about this.  What do I desire in a conversation?  I desire to walk away from it saying, "my soul was touched. I was sharpened. I was challenged. I was propelled towards Truth. But more than that...did I do that for my friend?  Did I give her just a little bit more courage to face the day?  Did I inspire her?" I often walk into a conversation with that prayer on my heart.  Sometimes I walk away from conversations having succeeded...most of the time I walk away saying "I shouldn't have said this this and did not help my friend." As I have mentioned....I've failed a lot.  But I do have hope that as I keep seeking this it will happen more and more.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


A year ago this week the girls and I were in a car accident.  It was at a slow speed and we were rear-ended.  The girls seem fine.  I, on the other hand, have had a bit of a year. I got severe cervical whiplash.  A week after the accident I started throwing up all day and all night and didn't stop for 2 weeks. It awful.  It was disheartening.  It was hard.
The doctors didn't know why I was throwing up.  This had happened to me once before about 5 years back. At that time they put me on meds for an ulcer.  It calmed whatever it was down.  As they had no ideas what was the cause of this this round I mentioned that those particular meds had worked before so they gave them to me again.  It worked again.
In January we got a new family doctor and as we were going through my medical history she said she wanted me to have a battery of bloodwork done so she could start to get a grip on what might have caused the 2 weeks worth of throwing-up.  I went and had the bloodwork done.  She called me in very quickly and said that I need to go have an ultrasound done on my liver.  Something was not right.  My liver?  Huh?  Ok!
Move forward to May....I had the ultrasound and upon having it again I was called into the doctor's office very quickly.  What showed up was that I had a fatty liver.  They wanted to send me to a specialist. I was too young to have that so something was wrong.  I asked my doctor if a fatty liver had to do with being overweight. She assured me it did not.  It was either genetic or from drinking too much or from having Hep B or C.  I rarely drink...I don't have Hep B or C so...maybe it was genetic?  I asked her if this had anything to do with my gallbladder being taken out and the liver having to make up for the loss of that vital part of the body.  She really didn't know but maybe?  Did it have to do with doing the HCG diet and losing weight rapidly and then gaining it back rather rapidly?  Maybe.
It was a nerve-wracking time.  She scared me because of her deep concern and her quick movement on this.  I remember sitting in church one Sunday morning before any of this was clear other than there was something not right with my liver and the doctors were very concerned.  I had no idea if it was fixable.  That morning I faced my mortality.  I faced that this may be the time that I leave this earth.  I did a lot of soul searching sitting there in that morning service.  And God met me in that moment.  My soul found rest in Him. He took the anxiety. He took the fear. He took the gut-wrenching sadness. He taught me, in that moment, with more depth and clarity than any previous lessons...that no matter what He is there beside me.  There is no promise of ease. There is no promise of tomorrow. But there are promises of His right there every single step of the way.  There is a difference experiencing that.
I began to pray. I began to ask God to direct me in this path.  Others prayed with me.  Others cheered me on.  It's been a team event.
I started reading about what fatty livers are.  I started educating myself.  I went to a naturopath.  In my reading and from going to the naturopath I started to get a clearer picture of what a fatty liver was, what caused it, and what I needed to do to get better.  Because a fatty liver is the beginning of a journey that, if left, can lead to liver cancer.  I knew I did not want that!  The first step is a fatty liver (completely reversable), the next step is cirrhosis of the liver (scarring of the liver not so reversible but because your cells regenerate it is somewhat reversible around the scaring), and then on to liver cancer (not so reversible).
I started making changes to my diet. Mainly I started reducing gluten and sugars. I noticed a marked difference.   I started working out on purpose. :D  I started taking a liver support supplement from Usana (of which when I showed it to the naturopath he was amazed and said he didn't have a supplement that was more perfect! YAY!).
Yesterday I had my long awaited speciality appointment with a gastroenterologist.  I was nervous and scared. I had no idea what he/she would do to me in that appointment. I was only told it would take about an hour.
I sat down with her...I was happy this doctor was a her.  But I was still nervous.  I haven't had the best luck with doctors regarding my health.  I have found there are some excellent doctors who take the time to actually listen to someone about their own body and they work well with you.  Then there are the others who think they know everything because they carry the title doctor and they disregard the person who lives every single second of every day with the body they are discussing and making medical judgments on.  They are often wrong and  cause much harm....mainly due to their arrogance....even specialists.  Sound harsh to you?  Well that is experience speaking.  And yes I do feel rather strongly about this...I am happy to report that this specialist falls into the category of excellence.  She is good! I could see within the first 2 minutes. I could tell that a more naturopathic approach sat well with her and didn't clash.  This was a relief. I get so tired of doctors who will not integrate the two.  I see the absolute need for both.  But they are 2 very different disciplines.  One is for health and the other you need for sickness...I'll step down from my soapbox now :D
We went into her office and she started off my saying "I am amazed that they caught this at this stage. You are so very fortunate. For most people this is not caught until they are dying and there is nothing left to do.  Livers very rarely give any indication of a problem until it's too late. Plus you are so young."  She asked me how it had come about that I had gotten all the bloodwork and the ultrasound.  I explained.
She asked me what I had been doing (if anything) I explained about the gluten and sugar.  She said "WOW! I am so interested in this.  I'm interested to know this worked well." I explained so more things.  She was not antagonistic. She listened. She was interested.  And then she started to explain that the liver is allowed to leak a little bit. And since the liver is near bloodvessels when you take bloodwork you can get a good grasp on the amount it is leaking.  When you have bloodwork done your levels should be at 36 or below.  Mine was at 107.  She explained there are a few reasons for the lining of the liver walls to get inflamed: alcohol, genetic, Hep B or C or fat (added info that makes sense for me).  I said "It's fat!"  I could see she was bracing herself to have to explain this gently to me because I'm overweight and it likely is a touchy subject whenever she has to explain this.  She said she agreed. I asked her what I needed to do....she said she wants me to have some more bloodwork done. She wants to send me to a dietician.  And she wants to see me again in 3 months.
I told her I was thankful for any help.  She seemed relieved not to have to talk me into anything.
I have to say I walked out of there feeling lighter than I had in a year regarding this.  I hadn't realized how much it was worrying me until it wasn't.
So...another journey continues...the one of losing weight. But not just for losing weight's sake.
I am thankful.  I am thankful for all of you who cheered me on and will continue too. I am thankful for all of you who have prayed for me and who will continue too.
And oddly enough...I am thankful for that rear-ender.  I doubt I would have found a solution to this problem that has been in the making for about 12 years.
God is good.  When you can't see what He is doing...He is doing.  It's for your good.  He loves you more than you could possibly know.
I am thankful.