Friday, October 21, 2016

Our October.

October.  Why are you SO MAGICAL every single year? 
Painting Pumpkins. 
Dressing up for Open Gym.
Taking WAY too many pictures in WAY too many pumpkin patches. 
The Famous Arboretum Pumpkin Patch. 
Picking out "Family Member" pumpkins at the nursery. 
Pumpkin-spiced Lattes. 
Decorating for the season. 
Pumpkin Pie scented candles. 
Cooler temperatures. 
Park weather. 
Wagon & walk weather. 

I am so thankful.  What a beautiful season this is.... Literally. Emotionally. Physically. Spiritually. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


secrets los cabos
amazing upgrade overlooking the beach
meeting a hilarious and fun couple doug and kathy
flora farms
pork chop the size of a small pig
banana-coloadas all day... virgin beverage?!?!? (it all makes sense now! haha)
chopping off our own aloe vera plant
2 books read
the beach to ourselves
sleeping in
so much joy
so much to celebrate
immensely grateful to God for my husband a new season

Friday, September 16, 2016

Full Circle

365 Days.

It has been exactly ONE full year since my insomnia reared its ugly head.  The search began medically for a diagnoses... lifelong anxiety is what they said. I am still convinced it was somehow related to postpartum and the fact Chloé wasn't sleeping through the night.

The search also began spiritually. Where was the root of this anxiety? How could I identify it, heal from it, and move forward.

Counseling. Prayer. Deepening dependance and reliance on the Lord brought FREEDOM and transformation.

God's timing is always perfect. You may think it coincidence but I think its a sweet gift.  We are one year from when it began and THIS YEAR Logan and I are headed to Cabo for some much needed rest and relaxation after this hard year.  It is also the same weekend that I am officially off all medications.  I haven't had to take sleeping medication since March of this year and I am almost entirely weaned off my anxiety medication.

My marriage is Stronger. Tougher. Deeper.

My priorities are in check.

My faith is tried, tested, and TRUE.

God NEVER wastes your pain.  He uses it as a bridge to others.

I wouldn't wish this past year on anyone but it has not been a waste and I am grateful for the journey it took me on.  LOTS to celebrate this weekend!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

It is Well with My Soul: 2 Months Later

The last time I remember feeling 100% was Memorial Day Weekend.  I got sick shortly thereafter with a virus that would take my ability to speak and swallow.

Here we are 2 months later and I am different.

How could you not be after going through something like this?

What just happened? Will I ever recover? What does this mean? Will I be around to watch my kids grow up? Will I be in chemotherapy during Katy's wedding? Will I be in speech therapy for months? What will my new "normal" look like? Will I have to get a feeding tube? 

All the questions. And now we are here.

Thankful is an understatement.  What on EARTH?!?!? What an insanely uncertain and scary summer.

I would say I am at 85% (Logan says 93%) of my full speaking/ swallowing function by doing nothing by resting and letting my nerve regenerate and recover.  (AKA God healing me)

I can now communicate at the drive through and for the most part spell my name out over the phone and people actually understand me. (I have been "Chloé" all summer at restaurants because it didn't contain any letters I couldn't pronounce haha!)

I can eat and swallow pretty normally.  Liquids very rarely come out my nose.  The fact that I can swallow ANYTHING without immediately having to drink water is miraculous improvement.

How quickly do we take our health for granted. Eating. Sleeping. Swallowing. Communicating. Singing.

And how quickly do we turn back into our old busy patterns once we finally receive the diagnosis. The answer. The game plan.

This summer was awful but such a sweet time with the Lord.  He was the ONLY one who knew what was going on. I felt immense comfort in that.  I relied on Him every single day.  Praying. Worshiping. Talking to Him. All day. Every day. (I am not exaggerating here.... I was clinging onto Him for dear life.)

I miss it already... I am trying to discipline myself to get back to that place, but honestly I think scripture rings true when it says... "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted." He is dear and NEAR.  Not to say you can't be close with Him when you aren't in a valley...but I think most who have been in a dark place can relate... It is just not the same after you come out. 

The week of Katy's wedding, I woke up on Wednesday and HEARD improvement.  Most people have told me they hear improvement but its been so minimal each day that I was never able to notice it.  This was the first time that I felt overnight I had jumped from like 50% to 75% of my voice function.  I called Logan right away and sure enough was able to get through the toast at my sisters rehearsal dinner which was my main goal! PRAISE HIM!!!! This was not a guarantee and He was so sweet to answer my specific prayer for that moment.  One that I could never get back!

I go back to the neurologist in September to evaluate my progress.

I also went to my psychiatrist this month to check in on my anxiety. She was blown away that I didn't have any sort of relapse with my panic attacks and insomnia when facing such a potentially traumatic health issue.  Because of this, she told me I was ready to wean off the Zoloft. So we start that process this month.

I am looking forward to the future.  The closing of a very difficult year... but one that people can attest... changed me. I am not the same girl I was a year ago. Not even close.

I feel more. I empathize more. I care more. I have more to give. I value things more.... the RIGHT things. I am fully surrendered to Him and His calling on my life. 

Pruning seasons are never fun.  But they are SO necessary in growing, maturing, and preparing us for our destiny and for that I am thankful...AND glad this season is behind us!

Logan and I are headed to Cabo next month for a much needed (and well deserved) vacation... just the 2 of us! To celebrate and RELAX and to welcome a new year and a new season for our family. One that is full of Rest. Health. Peace. Purpose. In Jesus Name.

Monday, July 11, 2016

It is Well with My Soul: Part 5

Where to even begin. On Friday I had the best appointment I have had in 5 weeks! I am SO encouraged. Not to mention my new neurologist, Dr. Alan Martin is an Aggie and a believer and SO KIND. I clicked with him right away and he spent almost 2 hours with me. I did not feel like another number.

NOT myasthenia gravis. 
NOT muscular dystrophy.

I have cranial neuritis. I am not quite sure it is even a thing but he said the easiest way to explain it is that its like Bell’s Palsy but a different nerve. Mine has affected my cranial nerve 10 which controls my soft palate (and speech and swallowing) among other things. He told me to imagine a cable. Taking the rubber protection off the “nerve” would grow back really quickly. But when you CUT the nerve (one of the wires), it takes awhile to regenerate and grow back. My nerve was CUT. He said the GREAT NEWS is that its not dead. It is still operating to other parts of my body. He did the EMG on the back of my throat and we heard LOTS of “clicks” which means lots of nerve irritation/ inflammation. When a nerve is at rest it should be silent.
He said the fact that I have seen improvement (even minor) in 5 weeks is REALLY FAST and encouraging. He can’t give me a timeline but fully believes my body will heal itself over time.

He told me no more appointments. No more doctors. No spinal tap. No swallow study. Just to relax and heal for the next 6 weeks and come back end of August for a follow up to measure my progress.

He thinks this is directly related to my fever blisters as that virus can attack nerves and manifest itself in strange ways. My fever blisters came/ then moved to the back of my throat when I was sick…. If it wasn’t that virus, it was whatever I had that week when I was sick that attacked and shut down my nerve.

After 5 weeks of stress/ not feeling well / facing my mortality with all kinds of scary diagnoses… I feel SUCH RELIEF and GRATITUDE!!!

We still have road ahead but at least now we know what we are dealing with. Bell’s palsy can take anywhere from 8 weeks to 18 months to completely heal. So my prayer NOW is that my nerve would continue to regenerate quickly so that I can be fully healed and restored sooner than later. I also wanted to mention I asked him the likelihood of this happening again… He said almost always, these kinds of things happen once in a LIFETIME. So I am just getting mine out of the way early 
 Singing PRAISES today. I am no better today than I was yesterday morning but I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted. Grateful to God for encouraging news and sustaining me during the very long wait.

Life is PRECIOUS.  Do not take a single day for granted. Do not take your HEALTH for granted.  I am SO aware of these things after walking this road.  Praise be to God who CARES about every single one of us. His Peace and perseverance are what got me through. 

God sent His Son, they called Him Jesus
He came to love, heal and forgive
He lived and died to buy my pardon
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living just because He lives
And then one day, I'll cross that river
I'll fight life's final war with pain
And then, as death gives way to victory
I'll see the lights of glory and I'll know He lives
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living just because He lives
And life is worth the living just because He lives

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

One Month and Love Notes

Today marks 1 month of this health journey. Thousands of dollars, numerous doctors and no answers/ minor improvement. God is my daily portion. The only thing giving me the endurance & perseverance to keep pushing through. This week starts a journey with new doctors & second opinions. I'm praying BOLDLY that God will give these men and women insight and wisdom that only He can provide for SOLUTIONS. As Logan told me this weekend, let's stop focusing on the why and what... And focus on the HOW to get better. Through medicine or miracle I'm believing that I will be restored 100%. He STILL HEALS.

God speaks to me so much through lyrics and music.... After reaading Susie Davis' Unafraid, I have considered these jewels my "love notes" from God.  He gave me this one this morning.

If I call, will You come
When I cry, do You hear
I believe every tear
Is caught up by a faithful God
So I will cry until You come
Cast my cares into Your arms
I can't see past this storm
But I'm counting on a faithful God

Faithful God
You hold my life secure
All my days are Yours
I believe
My God is like a fire defending me

I believe You still heal
And demons still bow
I'm convinced there is power
In trusting in a faithful God
So I will praise till You appear
And set Your foot upon this shore
I declare that every foe
Is subject to my faithful God

I know that You are mine
And I am Yours, I am Yours
I know Your faithfulness
It will endure, it will endure

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

It Is Well With My Soul: Part 4

The week following my last update I made HUGE STRIDES!!!! I was able to talk a bit more... I got a few letters back such as "M" and "S" and was able to control the volume of my voice. Loud and Soft.  I still can't yell which is probably a good thing until Stella refuses to leave playgrounds or pools.

I also started to eat again... which in turn made me feel MUCH BETTER physically. It is still not EASY to eat or swallow but I am able to eat most foods as long as I have water nearby to help push it down.  I have not lost any more weight and have welcomed the chance to order REGULAR Chi Tea Lattes at Starbucks instead of my normal NONFAT haha! #ALLTHECALORIES #BRINGITON

To be honest, the past week there has been minor improvement but nothing substantial.  Sadly the retainer I had made actually made it harder to eat and swallow but I suppose it was worth a try.  It is JUST MONEY. I have to remember that.  Who cares.

Where are we now? We are waiting blood results to see if a spinal tap is necessary.  I am praying its not but in the same sense if I don't have to get one.... We are still left with lots of questions.

I would love your prayers on direction.  Spend more money and involve more doctors who potentially may say the same thing? Or continue to wait it out and pray it improves/ runs its course?

I find immense comfort in knowing that The Great Physician has the answers and the timeline of this.  I am looking forward to the day where all of this is behind me. Some days I am okay and completely at peace.  Other days I get SO frustrated with this condition and become impatient and angry.  I am pretty self conscious about my voice right now but thought I would share a video I sent my Prayer Warriors yesterday.  THIS IS SO MUCH PROGRESS compared to how we started off on June 5th.


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