Reflections on loving God, being Catholic, being a woman, being ill, loving life and anything else that comes to mind.

Friday, June 13, 2008

So, I Am Still Very Sick...

...which is the way it rolls here on earth. I would love to write about other things but for now, that won't be happening. I have been thinking that perhaps I should share some of my experience dealing with this illness. Such sharing will be brief - I'm so exhausted these days and still trying to work. But since this is what God has given me, I think I'd rather share what I can rather than continue to wait until I am well enough to write about other things.

Just over a year ago, I was awakened by chest pain and went off to the hospital. The cardiologist checked the left side of my heart for coronary artery disease and when he found my arteries clear, decided all was well. But, I've had pulmonary hypertension for several years which affects the right side of the heart and the lungs and though the cardiologist knew it, he did not check further.

At the same time, this has been a very bad year for me in regards to the autoimmune illnesses with which I live. They must be kept under control or the pulmonary hypertension will get worse. My rheumatologist hasn't been aggressive in treating me so now both my autoimmune illnesses and the pulmonary hypertension are worse. The first have left me nearly disabled - I work and crash and haven't even enough energy most days to eat properly (but since I haven't the energy to go shopping, there's not much to eat in my house anyway). The second has made it necessary for me to sit and rest two or three times while climbing the three flights of stairs to my apartment and unable to walk more than a few blocks without becoming dizzy and out of breath.

The week after next, I am being sent from New York (which isn't at the cutting edge of medical research) to Boston for in-depth medical tests and treatment decisions. (It seems Massachucetts General is actually at the cutting edge of medical research and care.) I don't find the tests terribly scary but I do find being away from my friends and home daunting. Also, I won't know how long they will keep me there until Tuesday or Wednesday - I would prefer to have definite parameters.

Fortunately, I will be staying with friends of friends from Communion & Liberation so I won't be alone. And I find myself remembering that God knows what he is doing and is taking care of me as he has always done. I'm grateful too. Pulmonary hypertension is fatal fairly quickly if not treated properly but God has given me a job that priovides me with great health and disability insurance so I can go to the best hospital and get the best treatment. And while some of my doctors have failed to provide the level of care I need, God has given me others who not only do their jobs but go out of their way to get me the best care available. And the Church is there in Boston too.

I remember when I came to this country as a numb five year-old child who understood nothing that was happening, who only knew her Friend was there in the midst of the big, strange world. Today, I understand a bit more including the knowledge that I participate in the Body of Christ. My Friend is still with me and I have so many other friends. Thank you for your prayers. Please continue to do so; you are all in my prayers too.

*Pulmonary hypertension has nothing at all to do with regular hypertension and can't be treated the same way.

9 comments:

Pia said...

Wow, Dru... you said to yourself the same things I'd have said to you, so all I can add is that I'll be praying even more for you. I'm glad you made the effort to let us know about what's been going on. Hugs to you, dear one.

Anonymous said...

I remember you every time I hear the word "China"--how you wished to help the souls there. And I pray for you every time I remember you, for both your strength and your healing. It's good to see you're still with us.

(Carol)

Lector Perturbatus said...

I will continue to keep you in my prayers, Drusilla.

Gabrielle said...

I will as well, Drusilla, and am happy to hear that you will be receiving excellent care very soon, and will not be alone in Boston.

ukok said...

I will be praying for you.

GrandmaK said...

Dropping in to say you will be in my prayers. God bless you and keep. I do so admire your courage and stamina. What a brave lady you are!! Cathy

terry said...

Drusilla,

I am a friend of Pia's and she asked us to stop by. Thank you for sharing your experience and challenge. Your faith is inspiring and I will remember you in my prayers.

It is comforting to know that we have a Friend in common.

Anonymous said...

Drusilla, I will pray for you, that you will continue to find the strength to face up to all the challenges, and remain hopeful all the way. God bless.

Anonymous said...

Drusilla, God bless you as you go to Boston. I'm praying that God guides the minds of the doctors so that they know what the best course of action is. Have a safe trip and stay close to your Friend. :)