Maybe you’ve had a conversation like this one:
“I’m tired,” I confessed to friends over lunch one day.
What’s going on?” they asked.
I shrugged my shoulders and sighed, “I don’t really know.”
They hugged me and promised to pray for me.
That night I pulled out my art journal, plugged headphones into my ears and grabbed a sharpie. I wanted to think through my life and especially my work. I began to put “Writer” at the top of the page because that’s my title. But as I leaned toward the paper I felt a bit of hesitation and I silently asked God, “What do you want me to write in that spot?” And it seemed I heard one word in response: Worshipper.
And suddenly I knew why I was so exhausted. I’d switched from being a worshipper to a worker. Throughout my life when I feel pressure mounting and expectations building I tend do have one response: try harder. Be more. Do more. Go more. I carry on like that until I get worn out and a bit rebellious. Thankfully we serve a God of grace. A God who chases us down right in the middle of all our wild and weary-making running. A God who speaks life and peace and rest into us.
You can be saved by returning to me.
You can have rest.
You can be strong by being quiet and by trusting me.
-God (Isaiah 30:15)
I am at this very moment struggling with fear and anxiety about my current health situation.
I have been having symptoms for the past year and a half of which have become almost unbearable in the past two months. It started as a discolouration on my lower right leg, just above my ankle. It looked like dirt, like I wasn’t washing that area properly. No amount of extra scrubbing in the shower helped. After a while I noticed odd feelings occurring, they were like a cold burning sensation under my skin. Like I had put dencorub on an area and then directed a fan at it. It was more cold than hot, but it still sort of had a burning sensation to it. The feeling wasn’t everywhere, just on the top right of my right foot, and up the right side of my shin bone a bit at first. It started in the right leg and eventually I started getting the discolouration and feeling it in the left leg as well.
My first thought was that it was from my RA meds – specifically the Methotrexate – as when I became allergic to the salazopyrin I was on for it, that also presented first on my right leg.
I asked my GP about it but he didn’t know. I started seeing a new GP at the start of this year, and he thought it might me Vasculitis and suggested I ask my Rheumatologist at my upcoming appointment in February. I did that and he, my rheumy said it was varicose veins and to get my gp to refer me for a vascular ultrasound of my veins. I had the ultrasound and it’s not that. No DVTs either.
I have been back to my new gp, and have had various blood and fasting tests on my kidneys, liver, iron, thyroid, and cholesterol. On my last visit to get the results of these tests – Thursday 21/03/2014 – I found everything to be fine. Everything I knew about was the same – cholesterol is still a tad high at 5, FTL’s in my iron are still a tad low, and my hormones have started changing signalling menopause on my horizon. Thyroid, liver and kidney are all fine. Just before leaving, I asked again about the possibility of it being from my RA meds, specifically the Mtx. He brought up the fact sheet and lo and behold, the first set of symptoms is to do with the skin! He pointed out a few things which are EXACTLY what is going on with me!! I do not know why my Rheumy didn’t pick this up even after I have suggested it to him more than once. He just said “no, no, it won’t be the medication”…
Funny thing; as my GP appointment was early on Thursday morning, I didn’t have breakfast until I got home, and I forgot to take my tablets, of which Mtx is to be taken on that day. (I take 5mg Monday and Thursday). I choose not to take it this morning either, so I guess I have pretty much decided myself to stop taking it altogether.
Phoned my Rheumy to try to get a second opinion with Dr Nash this morning, told them that I was having a reaction to a long-term medication, and yet I cannot get in to see him, or any of the specialists until June! That is three months away!! I am quite pissed about this. Where is their duty of care for their patients? They say to contact them right away if you have any symptoms, and yet make you wait. I don’t get that. I have waited more than I should have because I didn’t know what was going on. We put our faith in our Drs to be there for us and to care for us and to be aware of these basic things, these basic and most likely symptoms and you still have to wait three months…?
I am going back to see my GP this morning. The receptionist gave me the names of some other Rheumys in Brisbane and Redcliffe, so I may be able to see one of them. I hope so.
Anyway, the reason I wrote this post was because of the story posted above. It came in one of my emails this morning, and Isaiah 30:15 is my verse for the year.
A good reminder to me to trust God through all of this.
Thank you Jesus. <3