Sick & Tired : Chapter 1

“Joining the Unhealthy Club – Involuntarily”

Preparation: Read Chapter One this week.
After reading, begin answering the questions at the end of the chapter. I will list the questions at the end of this post. We invite you to share your insights and experiences, and how you responded to the questions. We will encourage one another in the process. You may have chronic illness(es), but you do not have to bear them alone. Let’s be here for one another.

Note: Except for quotes in italics, words in the post are Marie’s.

Our website HOPE FOR THE HURTING is labeled as “BIBLE STUDIES FOR CHRONIC ILLNESS SUFFERERS”. When you read the first couple of chapters of SICK & TIRED, you may ask yourself where the Bible study is. Stick with us. By chapter three, Kimberly Rae will get into the book of Job. Not surprising, huh? Job is all about suffering. In the initial chapters, though, Kimberly will lay the groundwork for the lessons to follow.

In the chapter one, Kimberly looks at her own health history in retrospect, from childhood to her final diagnosis many years later. You can probably identify with the zig-zag route of seeking a diagnosis. Most of us have experienced frustration, despair, humiliation, anger, depression, and feelings of isolation on the road to our own diagnosis.

A few of Kimberly’s own words:

“And now, just this past year, after fifteen years of searching, scores and scores of hours of personal research on the computer, and ridiculous attempts at diets and treatments trying to fix something, I have been officially diagnosed. Seems it wasn’t all in my head after all.”

“I have Addison’s disease. I also have asthma – which happened somewhere in the middle of all this and was quite annoying as I really didn’t have time for another condition – and, of course, the low blood sugar thing, and scoliosis…My most recent addition has been finding a cyst in the middle of my head. Now this did strike me as funny because, technically, if it’s been causing a lot of my problems, then it’s safe to say it really was in my head all this time after all.”

Yep. We get it. Many of us live with multiple chronic conditions. They seem to attach to us like BBs to a magnet. We accrue allergies to medications and fragile responses to environmental scents and noises. And worst of all, the medical professionals may not believe us! Grrr!

Take your time this week to answer the Group Study Questions. Tell us what you think. Be honest. We can take it. We’ve all been there. Let’s talk about it.

Group Study Questions

To make reading easier, kindly refer to the question number when commenting.

1. Think back. How long have you been suffering with symptoms?


2. When did you first approach a doctor with your symptoms? Did he take them seriously?


3. What are your feelings right now about having chronic health problems?


4. Do you have a diagnosis yet? Do you feel it is complete and covers your entire illness?


Activity

Consider journaling your entire health history, starting from whenever you first experienced symptoms until now. It’s a good way to consolidate years of information and emotions into one place and will give you a reference point for future use. Not to mention, you’ll have the whole story to hand over to whoever wants to know about it on those days you don’t feel like telling it.

One thought on “Sick & Tired : Chapter 1

  1. 1. Our second son was born in 1980. I was 33 years old. It was a difficult pregnancy and precipitous delivery. I began having some odd numbness and tingling in my left arm and hand. When he was three weeks old, my legs gave way and I fell down several stairs, spraining my ankle. After recovering, I was still exhausted, though my family offered lots of help. When my son was 10 months old I went to Virginia-Mason Clinic in Seattle for a full battery of tests. These included a spinal tap, nerve conduction velocity, electromyogram, and a psychological evaluation to determine if I was imagining my symptoms. The tests were inconclusive. I spent the next three and a half years and many more rounds of visits to medical professionals for a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis to finally be reached.

    2. Some of my first doctors did not take me seriously. At one point, an orthopedist told me I had “bored housewife syndrome”! I felt insulted, belittled, angry, and powerless. Unfortunately this is not the last time it’s happened. In February of 2019 I was having many concerning symptoms, and called for an appointment with my primary care doctor. She was on maternity leave and I saw another doctor in the same office. Since brain fog is a frustrating symptom of MS, I had written a comprehensive list of my symptoms. That doctor barely looked at me, instead focusing on her laptop. When I showed her the list, she quickly covered a smirk, and handed the list back to me. When I told her I needed someone to really listen to me, she gave a half-hearted attempt, looked at me finally, and sort of sighed. I had been profiled as a hypochondriac, and my concerns were trivial in her mind. I read her body language loud and clear. She gave me some innocuous advice and basically dismissed me. I rode my scooter out of her office and held back my angry tears until I reached my car. I still feel the sting of that appointment.

    3. The question is what are my feelings right now about having chronic health problems. Honestly, it’s so much a part of my life that I can’t remember being healthy and energetic. Though there have been times of pain so intense that I begged God to take me home, most of the time I am optimistic and goal-oriented. I’ve learned to work around symptoms that are considered handicaps. I call them limitations. Discussion groups such as this one are encouraging to me.

    4. I have a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. Like many who live with autoimmune diseases, other conditions coexist with the MS. I have costochondritis, a chronic recurring inflammation of rib cartilage. I have Macular Degeneration, which is slowly limiting my central vision. I have hearing loss and hyperacusis, which is extreme sensitivity to noise. I am allergic to 23 prescription meds and have multiple environmental allergies. I’ve had six eye surgeries, 4 shoulder surgeries, and 4 knee surgeries. But I am blessed. I can still walk with a crutch, walker, or cane. I can still see to read these lessons. God is good!

    ACTIVITY: I have blogged about my MS journey at hopekeepersindy.com.

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