I have been thinking about what story I should share.
And I decided to pick the following story because I feel like the circumstances around this story gave me some amazing insight to a thing that not everyone goes through or understands.
So, I went to a doctor's appointment at the Air Force Base in Minot. I had some routine blood work done. A few days later, my doctor called me back in to go over the results. She told me that I tested positive for Hepatitis C. For those 'non-medically minded' readers, this is a life threatening liver disease that requires harsh treatment similar to chemo/radiation. It spreads through blood mostly. She said that sometimes the test can show a false positive so she wanted to test it a few more times. We did four different tests, all of which came back positive.
I was devistated.
I officially tagged myself as a walking bio-hazard. How would I ever spend time with anyone I loved? I had an infectious disease that I could spread. How would I ever have children? I could pass it on to them, or this disease could take my life and I would leave motherless children.
I dealt with four or five months of this diagnosis very poorly. I started smoking cigarettes. I can't exactly say why but maybe this was my own personal way of being in control of the harm being done to my body. I just didn't care. I was dying anyway. I started drinking, not a lot, or too much. Just a glass or two of wine a few nights a week. Normally, this would not be a sign of any problem. But I had a liver disease. And drinking alcohol is basically like punching your liver...repeatedly.
I lost hope, I gave up on myself. I didn't know what to do with myself, nor did I really care. I wasn't suicidal at all, I just felt like there wasn't much left for me.
I was referred to a specialist in town. I went to visit with him and was not given much hope or information. He said I needed to be EXTREMELY careful with any scrapes, cuts, broken skin. I couldn't share a toothbrush or set it anywhere unless I disinfected that spot later. And so on....and so on.
So, I took some leave and went on a trip with my family to Washington. We went to this place called Holden Village (I will blog about this amazing place another time.) and we were helping to get the village ready for the tourist season. I got put on a crew that was removing fallen branches and brush from the defensible space (for fire safety). I was so excited because I was on the same crew as my mother and would get to be outside all day. This job quickly turned into a nightmare as walking through the woods started giving me countless scrapes. I had rubbing alcohol to disinfect then bandaids to try to cover up. After about two hours I had to request to be on a different team. The sewing team. I still learned a lot and enjoyed my week, but I was terrified and heartbroken.
After we got home, I traveled back to Minot to work and see me doctor. I went in for more blood work. It came back positive again...but this time it was positively a baby. I was ecstatic, terrified and very confused to say the least. I was definately not planning on having a baby. I had no clue how I was going to handle that. But, alas, that's another story and if I tell it now, this post will be the new Neverending Story.
So, months go by and July comes along. My doctor needs to do more extensive tests to see how far this disease has progressed. He takes more blood...seriously like twenty tubes of it in one sitting. A few days later he calls me and asks me to come back I. He sits me down in his office and tells me that I am not sick. It was a false positive. He has no clue how it happened but he is certain well beyond any doubt that I am perfectly healthy.
I was in shock. Should I be mad? Who should I call first? I AM GONNA LIVE. Can you sue people for ruining months of your life with false medical information? My baby is ok! It is going to have a mother!!! How I am I gonna call anyone when I am crying so hysterically?
I proceeded to call everyone. EVERYONE.
And I cried, all darn day. Cried and prayed. The most thanksgiving-full prayers I have ever prayed.
So, that's my unique story. There is more to share. But I want to say to everyone who is sick or loves a sick person...my prayers are with you and my heart is broken for you. Stay strong, WAY stronger than I was. I was wrong not to rest in the Lord and not seek support.
If you want someone to talk to, pick God. And if you need someone else, I would be honored to listen. There are thousands of sicknesses, no one easier than the next. But if you are one of those people, please know that God has a plan for your good still. I truly believe that.
Thanks for listening.