Still Sick

This post is part of the 31 Days Writing Challenge, in which a group of writers post a piece every day for the month of October. Want to read all of my posts in this series? Click here

On Fridays this month, I’ve been telling the story of Husband-Mans journey through illness this year. I know that today is Thursday, but I figured you’d want to know how he’s doing now. 

So, how does Husband-Man’s story end?

Isn't he cute?

Isn’t he cute?

It’s not close to over yet. And I’m very thankful for that. The story of his sickness will only be over when he dies and is in heaven with Jesus. When you get diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, you don’t ever get rid of it. Sometimes you go into remission, and other times you don’t.

His liver hasn’t been inflamed for the past six months, thanks to the treatment he’s received. Next month, he’ll go back to the doctor to talk about reducing the amount of one of his medicines gradually (barring any other issues) until he’s off of it completely. Then, he takes another drug for a few years to give his liver a chance to heal. Then he gets another really fun test to see how his liver is doing, and we go from there.

The rest of our lives is going to be a waiting game with this illness, but the rest of our lives are a waiting game regardless. What matters is how we choose to wait.

This month, we’ve been thinking through what we wait for and how we go through that time of waiting. For me, me this intense period of waiting has opened my eyes to the opportunities that I’ve missed because I was waiting passively. I have spent so much of my life waiting without actively seeking God in that waiting. Waiting on Husband-Man’s health has forced me to turn to God, because I knew I had no where else to turn. I’ve had the opportunity to live every day like his life was in danger, and have learned to appreciate him so much more. I’ve had to rely daily on God’s provision of strength and grace. I had the opportunity to learn that waiting is a way that God draws me to himself.

And it’s been a blessing. A huge, painful blessing that has impacted my life. I’m so thankful for this blessing, because if God had not brought me though this, instead of enjoying my time with Husband-Man and being active with him while he was sick, I would have sat idly by waiting for something to happen and would have missed the opportunity to walk with him through one of the hardest times of his life.

How has waiting actively blessed you or your loved ones?

Endurance

This post is part of the 31 Days Writing Challenge, in which a group of writers post a piece every day for the month of October. Want to read all of my posts in this series? Click here

Day 28

This Tuesday, the last Tuesday in October, I wanted to share the most significant scripture to me in my time of waiting. It’s one that took a long time to come to peace with, because I struggled with it’s truth.

Romas 5:1-11 (ESV)

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

My suffering produces endurance, that endurance produces character, and character produces hope.

It has nothing to do with things getting better in a physical sense. It has only to do with drawing closer to Christ. That’s it.

This truth doesn’t feel good at first. I want to be rescued from my pain. But instead of my idea of a rescue, I am rescued by a God who sees fit to allow me to suffer to draw me closer to Him.

When you consider it, it’s good. It hurts, but it’s good.

So, my friends, endure. Hold on. And rejoice in your suffering.

Results

This post is part of the 31 Days Writing Challenge, in which a group of writers post a piece every day for the month of October. Want to read all of my posts in this series? Click here

On Fridays this month, I’ll be telling the story of Husband-Mans journey through illness this year. This post is about our struggle with test results.

After three months of tests and agony, Husband-Man started getting phone calls from staff at his specialist’s office. One nurse called and said that his test indicated that he didn’t have autoimmune hepatitis, so we went in for another (much less painful) test. After the easier test (an endoscopy where Husband-Man was put to sleep before they scoped his insides), he got a phone call from another nurse that he had autoimmune hepatitis and that he needed to start treatment immediately. And the nurse calling didn’t know why he had been giving conflicting reports, so she couldn’t tell us what was going on. And she took a message for the doctor, but he didn’t call back.

Husband-Man didn’t know what to do. We had spent so much time waiting for news, but the news we were getting didn’t make sense. We had a diagnosis, but we didn’t know where it had come from. And we couldn’t get to the source. We couldn’t get to the doctor. Husband-Man called and left messages for the doctor, and the doctor would call back when he was asleep. And when Husband-Man would call back, the doctor wouldn’t be available.

So, Husband-Man scheduled an appointment. And he found out that on a scale of 1-4 (4 being the worst damage that can be done to your liver and 3.2 being irreversible damage), the damage to his liver was a 3. He found out the the second test was to rule out another possible condition that could have done so much damage to his liver, and that there was no sign of the other condition. He found out that they only way to know for sure was to begin treatment and see if the markers in his blood indicated that the swelling in his liver had decreased.

So, we got a diagnosis. And the diagnosis was “wait and see”. I wanted to curl up and cry. So I did. Why was God making us wait so long? Why couldn’t we just have definitive news and have the opportunity to deal with it?

But, with the diagnosis came treatment. And the treatment reduced the swelling of his liver. And slowly, my husband started eating again, feeling like moving, and turning back to his normal skin tone. And eventually the diagnosis of “most likely autoimmune hepatitis” became “almost sure autoimmune hepatitis”.

Day 24

Have you ever waited for some major event and found out that it was just another step towards more waiting? How did you react?