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A Year of Healing

The last two weeks have been a bit overwhelming. First, my parents have both experienced some health issues. I live a little more than an hour from each of them, my father to the south and my mother to the north. My father had a brief stay in the hospital. He is home now, but the doctors weren't able to diagnose the problems he was having.


My mother had a heart ablation procedure on Friday, February 10th. According to Google, ablation uses small burns or freezes to cause some scarring on the inside of the heart to help break up the electrical signals that cause irregular heartbeats, aka Atrial Fibrillation. This can help the heart maintain a normal heart rhythm. It is a common and routine procedure, but it worried me to no end. The procedure went well, and she was able to return home the day after. My sister ended up going to Sarasota to be with my dad, and I went to Orlando to be with my mom for two days.


All seemed well, and so, on the following Thursday, after my mom had been cleared by the doctors to return to her work and all her normal activities, she drove to my house. For the last few weeks, she has been coming over every Thursday to watch my kids while I work on my book. Thursday was normal until she was on her way home and felt like she might black out. She pulled off the highway and called me, and in God's amazing timing, my husband happened to have left work early and stopped to get gas, so he was only a few minutes away from her when she called (while I was twenty-five minutes away). He picked her up and brought her to the ER near our house. After admitting her and running a bunch of tests, they determined she had pneumonia, and because her body was trying to fight that infection, it was making her heart work harder, causing erratic heart rhythms. They started her on an antibiotic drip and kept her overnight. The following day she was released and stayed at our house for the night before returning home on Saturday. Since then, she's had a few more dizzy spells but thankfully hasn't passed out, and her doctors say she just needs rest.


Second, my husband has a gastrointestinal disorder called Ulcerative Colitis. He was diagnosed at nineteen years old and has battled flare-ups and chronic inflammation for sixteen years. Over the past three years, he has had an unidentified pain in his upper abdomen that ebbs and flows. Some days it's very painful; some days, it's mild discomfort. The doctors in Arizona diagnosed it as acid reflux and gave him medicine to block the acid. Shortly after, he experienced the symptoms of gout, although his primary care physician couldn't actually diagnose him with gout based on his bloodwork. It was puzzling.


Fast forward to this month, and the pain in his abdomen was severe again. He called a Teledoc, who advised that based on his description, he likely had gallstones that were unidentifiable because of the chronic inflammation in his body. He went to the emergency room, and they ran all the tests and came up with nothing. The recommendation was that he needs a special HIDA Scan to detect the gallstones, and that scan has to be ordered by a gastroenterologist. The only problem? His new patient (as we've just moved here) appointment isn't until March 30th, and after calling fifteen or more other doctors, no one can get him in sooner because he is not a current patient. And the same goes for the PCP, which is scheduled for March 10th. The ER couldn't offer him treatment for gallstones, so they sent him home.


He began taking the acid blocker medicine again, hoping it would reduce his stomach pain, but lo and behold, the symptoms of gout returned, and he has been unable to walk for three days because his foot is in so much pain. We determined on our own that the acid blocker was causing a build-up of uric acid in his system, which is what caused his gout symptoms. He's stopped taking that med, and the gout is slowly abating.


And now, my kids have colds.


This isn't the cheeriest blog, is it? I'm sorry!


We set out at the beginning of the year to be intentional with our health, both mental and physical. On January 1st, our family started doing a nightly devotional with the book The One Year Book of Healing by Dr. Reggie Anderson with Jennifer Schuchmann. While all of these health issues have arisen lately, my hope is that this is just the path to healing. Life continues to be a series of blessings and battles, and I'm grateful for each day.


You may have seen on social media a few weeks ago that I'd given up coffee for thirty days. But that's not all. My hubby and I are now both doing the Dr. Amy Myers 30-day Autoimmune Protocol, which is essentially no dairy, gluten, grains, legumes, caffeine, or sugar. It's not been easy, but we're both feeling much better and hope to continue this lifestyle beyond the thirty days.


I'd appreciate your prayers for continued healing for my family, and if I can pray for you in any way, I would love to. Please drop a comment below or email me at StephanieRoseFinsterbush@gmail.com.


“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4‬:‭6‬-‭7‬ ‭ESV‬


With love,


Stephanie

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