I was so sick. I had never been this ill in my entire life. (Feel free to read Chapters 1-4 of my journey for just how sick!) I was in the hospital for 11 days, waiting for a diagnosis of what was wrong with me.
One diagnosis came early, Sweets Syndrome, a “very rare inflammatory skin condition, or Acute Febrile Neurtophilic Dermatosis.” Say that three times real fast! That explained one set of rashes.
On October 18, 2020 I received the diagnosis that I was praying it wasn’t. Valley Fever, or Coccidioidomycosis. Apparently, I inhaled a fungus which causes “a disease especially in humans and domestic animals found in dry soils of the southwestern U.S., Mexico, and Central America. It can be asymptomatic or present as a mild to serious flu-like illness marked chiefly by fever, cough, sore throat, headache, fatigue, and pneumonia but sometimes becoming disseminated beyond the lungs especially to the skin, bones, joints, and meninges resulting in painful lesions, swollen joints, or meningitis.”
After the suggestion that I could have this, I prayed for any other result. They ran several tests. But if you know me, you know that I looked up all of them. This one I did not want, others could go away…this one would not.
Thankfully, early diagnosis is a key. Many of my friends that live in the Southwest(FB support group) have gone undiagnosed for years. This resulted in dissemination, loss of lung, limb, meningitis and in some cases, death.
Fast forward….I am so much better. I am now going to the ID doctor once every six months, so this month I will go back. I have lesions, nodules and a cavity in my left lung as of six months ago, and my titer has been 1:2 for an entire year. This reading indicates an active disease, but a good reading. I am praying it is >1:2 this time around, which would indicate dormancy.
Those of you who have experienced “fatigue” know there is a marked difference in it and “being tired.” That has improved as well. I am walking 3-4 miles a day, which is a long way from using a walker for two months.
I still have joint and muscle pain, but it is tolerable. I “eat to live” rather than “live to eat.” Anyone that knows me well knows I stick to a pretty strict eating plan, and it has helped me. I do listen to my body and if I overdo it…my Sweet’s Syndrome rash will break out and remind me it is okay to rest.
As I have said so many times..”everyone is dealing with something.” The pressure is on my friends. But Jesus Christ has never left me, and He never will leave you. He told us in this world we would have troubles…but that He would bring us peace, and that we could take heart, He had overcome it all through His death on the cross. (John 16:33)
So what about my prayer? Lord, anything but Valley Fever! He did not answer that prayer the way I wanted. I am not sure why, but I trust Him. He did answer my prayer in getting me through it. Getting me through those tough days and nights when the pain was almost intolerable….bringing me peace when I was not sure what my future would hold. Sending confirmations of His love through song, Bible verses and other people.
That is good news. Remember you are never alone. Once He is your Savior, He will walk with you through every one of those troubles, and friends…there will be troubles. We live in a very fallen world.
None of us knows what tomorrow holds. I know that I will always have to be mindful with my Valley Fever and whatever else this body has to endure. I know that it is okay. No matter what, He will get me through it.
Jesus Christ is our only true Hope.
I am so grateful for those of you that prayed for me and took time to continue to check on me. You were used to encourage us.
My prayer for you is that as you deal with the trials of this life, you will have the peace that only He can give.
~Be Encouraged Today~