I finally did it. I sat down and just typed what came to my heart and mind in response to the e-mail I mentioned in the previous post. After I had written it, I stared at the screen and thought–oh, no way can I send an e-mail this long to her. She won’t know how to respond. She might think-woah-a little more information than I needed, thank you very much. But there it was on the screen–my heart. I couldn’t just chop it up and edit it. And besides, I didn’t have the time or the energy to do so. So, I held my breath and hit send. That was this morning. No response yet. I’m trying not to think about the fact that I just kind of threw up my diagnosis and condition all over her. I’m trusting her. And I will undoubtedly see her next week at our children’s Thanksgiving feast event at school. But it’s done. I can check it off my list and move on.
Here is my response. What do you guys think? You can be honest. I can take it. I think.
I feel terrible for not responding to you sooner. What a precious angel you have. When I read that Faith had prayed for me–a mommy she doesn’t even know–tears welled up in my eyes. Every time I’ve thought about her beautiful spirit since, the same thing happens. I am so touched. And so humbled…
To be very honest with you, I have been reluctant to respond because I wasn’t sure how to. I have yet to share what has been going on with my body with a lot of friends because those that I have told have offered mixed reactions. Some have been sweet and supportive, while others have questioned either my faith or my choice to avoid certain drugs, or have offered solutions that completely belittle what I have been experiencing. I just want to say to some people–who are you to judge God’s will for someone? His plans are perfect.
But because you reached out, it’s on my heart to share with you. I have been diagnosed with a disease that is currently without a cure and at this point will be lifelong. It is a disease that can attack your joints, tendons, organs, eyes and skin and causes a lot of pain and inflammation. It is called psoriatic arthritis. It’s important to me to explain the diagnosis to people. Because if you’re anything like I once was–you hear arthritis and think of old people. This is different than osteoarthritis. It is an auto immune arthritis that is traditionally treated with powerful drugs. Although, on most days, I sure do feel like an old lady because of the pain! When people see me on the street–they would never know how much pain I am in. I look perfectly healthy and can walk without a limp on most days to prevent awkward stares, but it usually hurts like crazy to be on my feet. I have bone loss in my feet now and permanent deformity to some of my toes. I was extremely healthy and physically active when I was diagnosed. My kids have always thought of me as a health freak. I’m the healthiest, unhealthy person a lot of people know.
J has been praying that mommy’s joints would get better. He prays about it everyday. I am so blessed. And I am at total peace with what God is doing. His will be done. When I feel closest to Him, I thank Him for the pain and for what He endured through death for me so that I don’t have to. I know you understand this sacrifice.
Please tell your daughter how much her prayers mean to me. Words don’t do my feelings justice. And thanks for checking on me, L. So sweet of you. Sorry for such a long e-mail. Hope I didn’t overwhelm you with info.
She responded with the sweetest and most compassionate e-mail. She has dealt with her own health issues and “gets it”! She is an amazing woman.