Tuesday, March 12, 2013

What does healing look like? Part 2

In part 1, I shared my history of fibromyalgia. Here's why I started writing about it.

A part of me wondered — was I using the medicine as a crutch? Had God healed me but I was refusing to trust Him to find out? Did I really need that pill every night?

After I got engaged, those questions loomed larger in my mind, and I realized the next few months are the last that I will sleep in a bed by myself. If I was going to try going without the medicine, the time to do it was now.

I talked with my doctor here in Missouri about it at the end of January. She gave me some smaller doses of the medicine so I could begin to taper off. After putting it off for a couple of weeks, I went to half my dosage — from 50 mgs to 25 mgs. It turned out that the week I went down on the dosage, we got the first of two snowstorms. So life was stressful, and I was working a lot. But I told myself there was never a good week to do it and powered through.

But it was obvious from the beginning that the lower dosage wasn't going to cut it. The pain started to come back almost immediately, and I found myself in a fog from the fatigue where I couldn't even complete sentences.

So I started researching natural ways to get my body into a deep sleep. I powered everything off hours before bed and banned my iPhone from my room. I took warm baths with epsom salts and drank a nighttime tea. I read relaxing books before bed (note: Gone Girl is not a relaxing thing to read before bed!). I went to bed earlier than usual, and I didn't give up on exercising.

Even though I closed my eyes and slept for eight hours a night, I woke up feeling just as tired as I did the night before. The fog of fatigue was so heavy I forgot to pay bills and struggled to get through the day. The pain returned in my back and my neck. I pulled out the heating pad and took as much as Advil as I'm allowed to.

J was one of the few people that knew I was trying this, and he was so patient. Even though he knew about my illness, he had never seen me like this — in pain and so exhausted. He was praying for me and doing whatever he could to help — a lot of times that meant just leaving me alone. I know it can be hard to be so helpless as you watch someone else struggle, and I know it was hard for him not to be able to "fix" or "heal" me. But he stuck by me, and it showed me that he would not be deterred by this sickness. He loves and accepts all of me.

Anyway, as the days went by, I knew that my body needed that medication as much now as it did 14 years ago. After two weeks at the lower dosage, I went back to the original dosage because I knew the pain was reaching a point that I might not be able to recover from without prescribed pain medication. Three nights of good sleep later, the pain faded and the fog of fatigue lifted. J noted that I seemed like myself again.

It proved to me that the sleep disorder I have is real, and my healing comes through 21st century medicine.

But it still felt like I had failed or even that God had failed me, and I had to remind myself of the truths God showed me when I was first sick. It doesn't mean that God isn't present or doesn't care about my physical ailments or hasn't heard my prayers for healing. I believe that this illness is a part of my life for a reason even if I can't see why. But there are still unanswered questions for me as I move into this next stage of my life. I am obviously following up with doctors about those questions and will in the years to come. And I won't ever give up on praying for complete healing.

I also have to admit that I envisioned writing a completely different blog post. I had hoped to write about how I was able to stop taking the medicine and felt better than ever. I almost didn't write this one at all, but I think I probably needed to write this one more than if it had all been sunshine and daisies.


  1. Thank you for writing this even though it wasn't all sunshine and daisies! God's care for you isn't diminished because of your fibromyalgia, and I'm thankful for this testimony.

  2. I am so glad you wrote and finished this without a bright side look. Most often we just eliminate those from part of our shared stories. I agree so much with the next to last paragraph, and just to say less of this medicine did not help, does not mean something else in the future won't. I tried so many things for my issues over the last half of my life to no avail and only have been finding things that help in the last couple of years. These things are DEFINITELY not what I would have expected or hoped for and they certainly were not in the research until very recently so it is not as if I'd overlooked or my doctors had missed these suggestions. I'm not cured but have found it more manageable and better. Perhaps that will be the same for you one day. But God still has purpose and goodness in mind for you and your life, and I am glad you comfort in that and not the result of healing.