I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears, behold I will heal thee.
2Kings 20:5

Monday, April 26, 2010

Reflection in the mirror

I am going to continue with what I started on my last post. I am not feeling down or anything, I just have a desire to share some of the things I faced and had to overcome with hopes that perhaps it might help other to understand and possibly let them know they are not along.

I had to do do a lot of things that I honestly was not emotionally prepared to have to deal with. The toughest one was re-learning how to look into a mirror and not HATE what looked back at me.

Throughout the years of living with CF I had taught myself to have an incredible amount of tolerance for things many others would have complained about. With no relief, I started every day with a pounding headache, shortness of breath, and usually still feeling exhausted. Somehow though I just excepted that was my life and it became almost unnoticeable. It rarely slowed me down too much and I didn't see much value in complaining about it. I have talked about my 'healthy level of Denial' and I believe that kept me going long after I should have been able to, but it also makes the day unbearable when all that is shattered.

I had been enjoying a surprisingly warm spring for Idaho by going out and riding my Yamaha 50cc scooter all over Blackfoot.I really enjoyed the wind in my hair and freedom I felt when I rode. My headache had become increasingly intense throughout my ride, so I stopped in at my medical supply store. In casually mentioning my headache, they offered to check my Blood Oxygen Level. This is easily done with a monitor placed on my finger. It checks my heart rate along with your Oxygen Saturation. The results were shocking. . . .

I immediately called my Doctor in Pocatello and his reply was urgent and told me to get to Pocatello in the next 20 minutes, he would be waiting with a room ready to admit me for treatment. I guess an Oxygen Saturation of 62 was enough to scare the crap out of him. . . and me. Once again honestly I don't even know how I was functioning, riding, laughing, talking with my O2 that low. I am sure my body was working overtime to compensate for it.

A long hospital stay followed where I was under a lot more strict routine. This was undeniably the beginning of END STAGE CF. I cried until I had no more tears to cry, then cried some more. I was unable to get off continuous oxygen. I was tied down to a metal tank by clear tubing, which was the only thing giving my weakened body what it so desperately could not supply on it's own. I was grateful for that. It did make me feel better, physically. But emotionally I was a broken soul, a fallen warrior.

I hated the reflection in the mirror. I looked weak. I looked sick. I looked defeated. This was not a happy time for me. I became introverted and even bitter. I was ashamed that I could no longer hide my pain, my disease. I felt ugly. . .most of all ugly. I dreaded leaving the house for a while. . .embarrassed that I might run into someone I know and have to face them. . . looking like this, looking like 'the sick girl'. This was a period of time I had to do a lot of soul searching. A lot of prayer. I had to dig deep down and find the 'lost' Jamie and pull her out of the darkness inside myself.

Most people even close friends and family may not ever understand or know that I was having a deep battle going on within myself. I continued to appear like I wasn't fazed by the new changes, but I was. I was changed. Eventually I was able to embrace all of it. With the help of my wonderful husband, he continued to help me understand that I was still beautiful to him. He loved me despite all the tubes, IV's, emotional roller coaster that was now my life. Not only did I learn to embrace it, but the harder task was being able to talk to others about it. I learned that If I acted Okay with all of it, then it put others at ease & they in turn were at ease with it. It wasn't taboo, it wasn't' awkward if I didn't let it be. It is all about perception. . . how we perceive ourselves will effect how others perceive us.

*Many great life lessons and personal growth was given to me by dealing with and overcoming this.

I want to add this: I spent hours several times a week kneeling in prayer in the temple. I could feel my Saviors love and the spirit there and it lifted the heavy burden of my physical pain a little each time I went. I cried to the Lord for peace and comfort. I prayed and begged for understanding and strength to endure. I asked him to take my burden from me. I promised to carry it for as long as he asked me to. My spiritual experiences that I was blessed with are far more valuable to me than anything else in the world. I knew my cries, my prayers were heard. I carried my burden to the end.
"I have heard they prayer, I have seen thy tears, behold I will heal thee."
~ 2 Kings 20:5

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Where to start to learn about my transplant!

Thank You for taking the time to read my blog. I am hoping that through this blog and my experiences that I can bring hope, faith and strength to all that may be living with Cystic Fibrosis, CF with Cepacia and Lung Transplant recipients. Information and blog entrees start Nov. 07. My Double Lung Transplant was on Dec. 10th 2007. Please feel free to read about my experience and ask me any questions! My email address is jamiebug77@gmail.com

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My Testimony

It's hard to put into words how I feel toward my Heavenly Father and the Savior. I have so many reasons to be thankful for what I have gone through & endured. Because of my trials in life I have gained a strong testimony of Faith. I have always had Faith in the Lord and in Prayer. As I faced the decision to get a double lung transplant I had to rely on faith to make the choice.....By listening to the spirit, I was guided to Pittsburgh where my life was saved. I believe prayers are answered. I have always tried to follow the philosophy of this: If I do what the Lord expects of me, he will give me what I want & need. That has always worked for me. I Believe in MIRACLES..........My life on this earth is a miracle- I prayed on my knees for years to be healed from my lung disease. I knew that through a priesthood blessing (if it was God's will) I could be healed. So many times I thought he would heal me instantly...my faith was tested as I continued to get sick and no cure was in my future. I turned to prayer....I talked to my Heavenly Father, I cried to him and he heard me and he healed me by guiding me to Pittsburgh and guiding the surgeons hands. I learned humility, and thankfulness. I realized that we need others to lean on and we are supposed to strengthen each others testimonies. I learned that the hardest things we'll do are usually the greatest blessings in our life. I was able to experience a lot of things during surgery and I know I had comforting angels in my ICU room. THe Lord knows each of us by name and he will never leave our side. We need to remember to stay close to him and have Faith that he is watching over us. I know this for a fact! I know that following the gospel will bring us true happiness- the world will tell us otherwise, but I know I am truely happy & living the gospel has brought me that. Amen