I am writing to say hello, and give you an update.
It has been a long road, filled with lessons I won’t soon forget.
I have seen 16 doctors both in the medical field and the holistic field, some of whom, are the best in their area. I have traveled all over the country to see them and I am grateful to each one for adding some value to me. (btw…if you are wondering- yes, I have read Jordan Rubin’s books).
It seems it is time to visit the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. All of the great doctors I have visited have helped eliminate some possibilities and helped me with better health habits and nutrition, but they haven’t been able to lead me towards total health. And although I have certainly grown in my ability to manage and deal with this illness mentally, emotionally and even spiritually; my physical symptoms of extreme fatigue and “brain fog” (among other things) continue – not fun for a normally intuitive 27 yr. old should-be-full-of-energy guy. Thankfully, we were able to rule out Celiac Disease after all (a change from the first test results). With a liberated diet (praise God!), I have gained some weight. It was just two months ago when the scale read just over 110 lbs. I knew I was in trouble when one Doctor started calling me Paris Hilton and Nicole Richey. Well, I am extremely grateful to have put on 15 lbs. and of course each day we plead for divine healing.
Flipping the Switch
It’s the best way I can describe what happens when “it” hits.
If I have two-three semi-normal days in a given week, it is a phenomenal week. The other days have phases. Something like this:
It usually begins when my body begins to slowly crash. I can usually feel it coming the day before it takes over. By the next day, I am laid out in bed with a body that can barely move. It feels like I am shut down completely. At times I can feel pain in my bones. And the biggest heartache is in my mind. I wouldn’t mind losing my bodily energy, but when my mind shuts down, it feels terrible. And this is the most humbling part of being sick. Many days, I don’t have a choice but to show up to the event I am speaking to, or the meeting I have scheduled for. And I am at the mercy of my body, or if the Lord chooses to miraculously heal me for an hour or a few days. It’s truly amazing how often this happens. Recently, we were speaking in Ohio, and my body and mind stayed focused throughout the two days. When I finished my last speech, everything immediately shut down. Those are the cool, unforgettable moments. My switch is in God’s hands.
The term worldliness can be defined as “living as though you have no need for God.” Well, God has graciously chosen to give me help in learning this. I am completely dependent on Him, and it’s actually a wonderful thing. When I try to do things without God, it’s not good. I am learning to live more prayerfully by His Word no matter what I am doing. I certainly don’t do this perfectly, far from it, but I am learning and growing. And it helps to have a wife who walks with the Spirit. All of this to say, more than anything I am learning to “fight” and “stand firm” on the promises I already have. It’s not about letting go and letting God. Rather, it’s joining Him in the “good fight” for God’s mighty power to have reign.
So much support…
I am taken back and humbled from the hundreds of emails I have received. I cannot believe there are people who have not only prayed but actually have fasted for me. I have heard so many stories of how God is using this illness for his glory, and that makes it all worth while.
I have to admit, I haven’t done a very good job communicating with everyone. I guess it’s partly due to the fact that when I have a good day, the last thing I want to do is write or talk about my illness. There’s so much more to do! It’s hard because we still don’t know what is going on. I have tried so many Doctor protocols and yet it continues. I have found it’s hard to communicate what’s going on without a “name” or a “diagnosis”.
Mayo Clinic Door Opens
I have been to Emory in Atlanta, unfortunately they join the long list of health centers and medical professionals that haven’t been able to offer a concrete solution or even a diagnosis. I have tried many tests. These tests are invasive and humbling to say the least. And now we feel it’s time to try even harder! So, tomorrow I fly out to Rochester, Minnesota and Wednesday morning is my first appointment at The Mayo Clinic. They are well-known as one of the top health centers in the world. Please pray that God would bless these doctors with the wisdom to finally understand what has been causing this illness. Please pray that he would strengthen me and bless me with peace and contentment during the multitude of tests that I will undoubtedly have to undergo. Please pray that he would bless Amber and I with discernment as to which tests should be taken and to help us to make wise decisions.
We thank God for insurance, but still these tests at Mayo could cost up to a maximum amount of $4,700.00 out of pocket- which is still a lot! Please pray the Lord will provide for whatever we end up needing through His people or whatever means necessary because we have been doing as much as possible to take on extra work, etc. but we are at a point where we still need extra help. And the last thing we need is debt.
I am most grateful to Christ who freely gives peace, love and joy that makes nothing unbearable. And I am grateful to my friends, family (and even strangers) who have lended prayers and a “huge hand” when we need it most.
Do pray with us. It’ll be nice to feel well again, but in the meantime we’ll keep roaring as loud and strong as we can.