Welcome! This is where it all began. I no longer post on this website and some of the content reflects former convictions and understandings. Some of these posts are hard core on issues that I am softer on these days. I deleted many posts that I feared would lead people into legalism, so if you find a missing hyperlink that may be why. These days I write at Covered By His Hand.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Measurement of Failing Health

I am only 30 years old, yet I feel like I must be much older. I am going to write some notes about my health and it will likely come across as whining. But, I am again asking for your prayers. I am going to write some specific ailments out and we will all pray that God will heal me. And, if He does not - that I will remain faithful and that He will give me strength to carry on.

Paul and I agree that I am in the worst health I have ever been in. This week has already been very telling of my state of health, though maybe only those of you who know me "in real life" will understand the depth of meaning to what follows.

I can no longer mow the yard. *crying begins* Paul started up the new mower the other day and I wanted to give it a try. I knew things were not the same when I could not even start the mower... to save my dignity, Paul "helped" me to get it started. I had traveled but a few yards before I felt extreme fatigue at this motion! I was determined (by my damnable pride - and I mean that will all sincerity) to finish one circular lap. I got slower and slower... until Paul met me to take over. I hobbled into the house to lie down... I was done. *fighting tears* I realize that most ladies could care less about yard mowing... I am not most ladies. I love yard work! I love mowing! But, for now... I will have to leave it to Paul. If you had asked "What hurts?" when I was pathetically crying on my bed, I would have replied, "What doesn't hurt?!"

Then, yesterday afternoon we went shopping at the bulk foods store. I managed that trip really well. (Of course, Paul was there to do all the lifting...) Actually, Paul did everything. I read the list and pretended to be shopping, while Paul took 3 kids to fill my orders. Still, when we came home I felt decently enough. BUT, last night we went to Wal-Mart to get the items we could not get at the bulk store. I could not walk through the store without visibly limping. And, I actually asked Paul if I could leave. He did not want me to go into the dark parking lot alone (while in such pain/fatigue) so I sat on a bench while he paid! I NEVER sit on the bench... never! Even during some very wearisome pregnancies I did not carry on as I do now! I fear that if we go to Wal-Mart again, I will have to use the motorized chair!

But, perhaps worst of all, I cannot play my flute. I considered selling it, since all it does is sit upon a shelf mocking my disability (whatever that disability is...). I cannot lift my arms long enough to play it. I hang out laundry and my arms ache, but that is a labor of love that I feel I must perform. Practicing the flute, in hopes to get back into shape is not at all on my radar! My fingers, most days, are stiff and swollen. I can type - Praise God! - but I cannot play flute. (I would not be able to play piano either, if I had one).

But, I cannot completely despair! Because our gracious Lord has left me some faculties!
- I CAN SING!!! Praise God, I can sing.
- And, I can type and write this blog... which is a very strong lifeline these days. I cannot use a pen most days, but I can type!
- I still have sight and hearing.
- I still have most large motor function. (Meaning, I can walk!)

I do realize that I am very blessed. I get around better than some well people do... I know that. But, I have to take more care... I cannot paint again - that really did me in! I cannot tackle any projects without Paul... I just can't. You may have noticed that I have been posting more these past weeks... that is an indication that I am not feeling well. On days when I am sick and tired I spend more time blogging, not less.

I got up before the children this morning to do some stretches. I even did some Pilates Abs work. I am NOT trying to tone my abs for aesthetic reasons... that is not enough motivation to get me up early... No, I am going to try to exercise more, because I know that my back hurts less when I am "working out." Of course, my working out won't look like it used to. I will not/cannot do step aerobics at the gym 3-4 days/week, with weightlifting interspersed in the program. But, God willing, I can make slow steady progress...

Now, to my dear friends and family who plan to visit me this summer: Please, DO NOT CHANGE YOUR PLANS! Please, Please come! I want to see you. I need to see you. Do not worry about my health. I will just put you to work and you can help with the labors! So long as I rest every afternoon I get by ok. I was terribly tired when my friend Dawn left the other night, but I would not have traded that time for anything! But, I am also trying to be optimistic... maybe the Lord will heal me as He did last spring/summer... it could happen. I am going to go call the Dr right now about Vitamin D deficiency.

Pray for me... I want to be 30 again!


Tina said...

Bethany --
We'll be praying for you. Have you ever heard of fibromyalgia? Just something I vaguely remember from school...may be worth a look into??

Sanil Atarah Rivka said...

I'm so sorry. I will be praying for you, I hope that your health improves.

Ruby said...

Continuing to pray.
"It is good for me that I have been afflicted that I may learn thy statutes."

IamHIS said...

Bethany --

Hello :D I'm new to this *blogging* but have been a follower of your blogs, as well as your husbands.

I have a friend who has fibromyalgia (like Tina mentioned above). My friend is in constant pain each and every day. The pain varies from day to day. Some days she can give her children hugs, other days she cannot. Some days she gets *stuck* in bed, if she goes back after the kids are off to school.. because if nobody is there to help her get out of bed, she is there until her body allows her to move enough without pain.

the worst part of the condition, is that you look perfectly healthy to anyone who sees you, but inside you are cringing with pain.

One thing that my friend has been told by doctors, and she has noticed herself, is that her fibro gets worse under stress. In fact, when my friends' fibro first showed up was during her husbands' father death -- 18 yrs ago. And it took years of going from doctor to doctor, and test after test, to finally get a diagnosis of fibro.

It's a long, painfull, road.. if this condition is what you are experiencing.

I'm posting a link to a fibro site, so you can go through the pages, and see if it compares to what you are going through.


My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family


Ruby said...

Hi Bethany!
Love the farming pics in todays post! More childhood memeories for me.
Re Fibromyalgia mentioned by Tina
and Rose. I have also been looking at info on that and it does sound like you. Have you been tested for that?



Bethany W. said...


Thank you for these ideas. I agree that Fibro does sound possible... I have also gotten a few emails mentioning MS, and I fit MANY of those symptoms too. (and two others mentioned lyme)

I have an appointment to see a doctor before Paul leaves his job (and we lose our insurance). BUT, if we DO find something, the next insurance company may refuse to cover a "pre-existing" condition.

Like your friend, most people (in real life) do not believe that I am "sick." I look fine. Most days I do not waddle. I think I hide it too. I told a Pastor friend the other night that I was feeling very poorly and he did not seem to believe me at all. Paul sees my pain, and I am hoping that there will be a way to take him to the doc with me. He may help me explain things clearly.

To all-
I do not really want a label. I fear labels... I do not want a diagnosis. I would rather this whole thing just go away. But, everyone says that is a silly approach. Paul made me call the Dr, I was not planning to... I just fear the worst.
And, yes, I know that worry is a sin. But, I cannot seem to get a hold of myself. I told Paul tonight that I need to read my Bible MUCH more when I am feeling this badly.


IamHIS said...

Bethany --

I want to apologize for my early comment, about how the worst part of fibro is how others *see* you. That is not "the worst part" of the condition, it may be an annoying part, or an frustrating part, but it is no way the worst part. The attack from this condition, on your mind/body/spirit, is far worse than how others perceive you. I apologize for, what may have come across as, belittling your pain.

As for labels, please do not fear them. Only fear them, if you are use the label as an excuse. There are lots of people that do just that... they say "I have *condition Y* , and that is just the way I am". They do not try to find ways to help themselves, or their loved one who has that *condition*. Whereas, if you use a label as a tool, to help you in your everyday life, it can be a great help. You can learn what to expect sometimes, with certain conditions, and maybe even how to avoid or subdue the pain/aggrevation associated with those conditions. And since you do not sound like someone who would use the label as an excuse, please do not fear them :D

May I offer a suggestion? If your husband is not able to go with you to the doctor, ask your doctor if you can take in a tape recorder. That way, when you get home, and start trying to remember "ok.. what was this blood test for?", or "what did he say to do about this?".. it's all there in that little machine :D


Alana said...

You sound JUST like me, and I have fibromyalgia. Every single thing you wrote...I can TOTALLY relate.

Please as least take a look at this website: www.fibromylagiatreatment.com

This is the protocol my doctor who diagnosed me put me on and it has vastly improved my life. There's even a physician locator on that site that can help you find a doctor who will understand your condition and diagnose you if that is what you have. And the beauty of it is, guaifenesin (the medication used) is over the counter, so if you don't have health insurance, you can carry on.

Bethany W. said...


There is NO NEED for you to apologize! I was not at all offended, I was merely empathizing with your friend! I am frustrated by those who do not believe me, but I never had you in that category. I was very tired last night, and if my reply made it sound like I was hurt by you - it was unintentional!
My parents came y-day (and will be here again today), and I am just very tired.
No apology necessary, my friend.

Thank you for sharing this information. I will look into it!