I wasn’t sure how to start this post. Do I want to even share this? I mean, it’s personal. However the more I thought about it, I realized that there is healing in putting it out there. So that’s what I’m going to do, because I know that God works everything out for our good. If there is one good thing that can come out of me sharing my journey, I’ll take the plunge.
I’m not sure how much you know about my health journey, so if you are new here I will bring you up to speed. In February of this year I got the “stomach flu” (it’s in parenthesis because I’m still not certain it was the flu). It was awful, my whole family got it, but I had to go in for Zofran because I couldn’t shake the nausea. Then, a week after I recovered, I woke up at 5am in agony. I thought my back went out, so I put ice on it. But then it came back even harder and more painful. I had four of these episodes before it went away. It was so painful, even more painful than any gallstone pain or even birth you guys! I couldn’t catch my breath. But as soon as I got to the hospital, it vanished. They did x-rays, ultrasounds and blood tests. Everything came back normal. So they told me that it was reflux. I didn’t believe them, but what do I know, right?
I lived in fear of that pain coming back, and while I waited, the sicker I felt. (And yes, I’m going to go into detail here because we are all adults and this is stuff that is never talked about…but needs to be! I am willing to lay down my pride and dignity to encourage others who are on a road to healing.) I would have really bad days where I would be in the bathroom for hours. Then there were some good days where I would only feel bloated, but it would always end with another bad day of what I thought was gas pain. Then, the nausea came back. I started throwing up, and it tasted sweet, like the bile I threw up when I had gallstones.
So I went in to see a gastro specialist. He told me that he thought it was a stool burden (nice, right?) and prescribed a cleanse. So I did the cleanse, and just two days after, I was right back to feeling awful. So I went back in, and this time I saw his PA. She put me on the low-fodmaps diet (I’ll talk more about that later), and told me that I probably had IBS. So I went on this diet, and it was horrible. I couldn’t find much to eat, and lost a few pounds that first week. Convinced I had IBS, I started looking for ways to alleviate the symptoms. One thing they recommend is IBGard, which is a capsule filled with peppermint oil that releases when it gets to the small intestine.
The longer that I was on the diet, the more problems arose. I became constipated, lost twenty more pounds, and started feeling faint and dizzy. The PA treated my constipation with miralax, and told me to stay on the diet. So I did what I was told, but then it got worse. I lost another 5 pounds (so if you’re keeping track that’s 30 pounds from April-June) and they decided to do a hydrogen breath test to check for bacteria in my intestines. I took the test and it came back negative. Finally, I asked for an endoscopy/colonoscopy. That was a trip. They told me initially that I’d have to wait until September. But we finally had one scheduled for June 26 (yesterday). But one week before the procedure I contracted shingles on my leg and the hospital had to cancel my procedures. As if I wasn’t stressed enough already, right? And guess when they wanted to reschedule? A whole month away. Yeah. I’m 29 years old, lost over 30 pounds in less than three months, and you want me to wait that long?
That week (Thursday June 22), I went to the ER for severe chest pain. I was scared, because they weren’t able to figure out what the problem was. From Thursday to Saturday I could barely eat anything and felt so sick. So I reached out to my church. Two wonderful ladies came over to my house on Saturday (June 24) and prayed healing over me. Afterwards, I felt so much peace. Then, around 7pm that evening I ate one bite of food and was immediately in pain. I threw up several times, and the chest pain was unbearable. My arms were going numb, and I decided it was time to go back to the ER, but this time I wasn’t going to come out of there without answers.
My kids went with my parents and my husband drove me to the ER, and we prayed for God’s anointing on the doctor I would have. When I arrived, they did an ekg (because it’s procedure for severe chest pain), and the basic blood tests. My blood pressure was extremely high, and that was unusual. The doctor came in, and I told him the whole story. I sobbed, and told him that I wasn’t leaving without answers. They ran some more tests, and then he came back in.
Then, I got clarity. The doctor told me that they should have never said the word IBS until they had proof, because the diet I was on and the pills I was taking were making things worse. He showed me how to control my reflux and stress until my endoscopy. Oh, and wait for it…he gave me the number of a GI doctor that likes to work quickly. Answer to prayer, right there!
On Sunday the 25th, I started taking new medications to help with the reflux and went to church. I knew something amazing was going to happen that night, but I couldn’t explain what it was. The message was on healing. I wanted that! When our pastor called people up to the altar that wanted healing, I waited on the side ready to pray with someone. He asked the prayer team to come up, and I joined them. Then, someone came up behind me, and started praying for me! In that moment there were tears of joy. I started laughing because after asking the Lord to heal me, I so audibly heard Him say, “It is done.” I left with a peace in my mind and a joy in my heart that I have never felt before. When I got home, the pain came back…but my anxiety didn’t! I even tried to be anxious (only people who deal with anxiety will know that it’s easy to create, but hard to stop), and I couldn’t! God spoke to me again, and said, “Janell, I healed you…don’t you believe?” My answer was an immediate, “YES! I do believe!” Then, the words of a song I’ve only heard a couple of times started to ring inside my head:
Lord I believe,
Lord I believe
I trust in you
and not what I see
Here in your love
until the miracle comes
The very next day I called the phone number that my ER doctor had given me. I couldn’t believe that they were able to schedule me for this Friday June 30th! Another miracle! Then, I was able to set up my infusion (for my blood disorder) at the same hospital all in one day. Another miracle! But then, today I finally noticed something was different. I had clarity. I’m talking about mind-blowing life-altering clarity. I noticed that I could concentrate without being bombarded by a million different thoughts. I could focus! It was as if a cloud that had been covering my eyes was finally lifted. So praise the Lord for that! And I’ll end this long post with just one more miracle: I am eating! I am able to eat without a lot of pain, small portions of food. Praise God!
So, my endoscopy is on Friday, and I’m confident that they will gain more information from that. Obviously because of the horrible care that I received in the beginning of this mess I am looking into another provider. Pray for continued wisdom and clarity as we look into finding a doctor who will treat me as a whole person instead of just treating the symptoms. I want to thank everyone who has messaged me, prayed for me, and taken care of my kids! I have such an awesome support system, and I don’t think I would be here if that wasn’t the case. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I believe that the Lord’s hand is upon this, and I am at peace that everything will be worked out in the proper time.