I am almost speechless that it's been FOUR years since that fateful day. As I wrote last year, I remember the minutest details of October 15, 2011. That day things in my life became defined as pre-Meniere's and post-Meniere's. Everything I do, every thought, every goal is all now in a context of a "broken body." A body that is not wrecked by cancer or some other life-threatening disease, but a body that is not whole and never will be this side of heaven. I find that I walk a tightrope... on the one hand thankful that this disease does nothing more than rob me of my plans, my security, my independence. I know it won't take my life physically but it certainly takes its toll emotionally and mentally. But on the other hand I am so angry that I can no longer be the wife and mom that I sometimes long to be. The wife and mom that my friends get to be. The wife and mom that total strangers all around me get to be. And the most frustrating thing is that people, even close friends, that don't really understand the nature of this disease or the havoc it wreaks on my body can't really understand what all the fuss is about.
On January 1st of this year I was happy in remission and had all of my dizziness very well controlled. I was about 75% of my old self physically but it was the new normal that I had become comfortable with. Then one day in January I woke up to all too familiar symptoms. Symptoms that were eerily familiar and that I wish would disappear. They didn't disappear but they played out in a much less severe way than they did when they burst onto the scene 4 years ago. Until September of this year, I experienced vertigo on and off, but it was much milder than before and for the most part manageable. As I wrote about earlier this year, the symptoms out of remission didn't keep me from a FABULOUS week in Disney or a super fun summer with my family.
Then about 4 weeks ago, the really bad vertigo returned. All of the symptoms that came and went throughout this year have settled in and not gone away for the last month. I've had vertigo spells (not terribly horrible, but enough to buckle my knees) the last 3 days in a row. I am once again forced to ask people to HELP me (good grief why is that SO HARD for me to do?). I am waiting for an appointment with an ear specialist in South Louisiana. I know there's no cure but I can't sit back and do nothing. With all the available resources I believe God intends me to explore all options for relief.
The craziest thing is that I pretty much anticipated this would happen right about now... "How?" you may wonder. Well... in September 2011 I was participating in a bible study developed by Priscilla Shirer entitled "One in a Million." It was all about walking in the wilderness and how to grow through such an experience. HAHAHA... so I guess that study paved the way for the onset of my Meniere's way back when. So this September when I started a new study... by Priscilla Shirer,,, entitled "Armor of God".... about SPIRITUAL WARFARE. Well, let's just say I wasn't surprised by the onslaught of the enemy to try and distract me with this renewed physical challenge.
It is critically important that Christians understand that all distractions, all setbacks, all joy-stealing is a scheme of Satan trying to steal and kill and destroy us (John 10:10). And I am calling Satan out for the liar that he is. His lie is that I can't function with this infirmity, that I'll be a burden to my family and friends, that I won't be able to serve God while I'm down. All I have to do is look back over the last 4 years of my life and celebrate all of the goodness God has lavished upon me and my family. I can choose to believe the lies that Satan is throwing out or I can claim the abundant life that Jesus died to give me (John 10:10).
I'm not always successful. I've had some pretty angry conversations with God lately. There have been days when I haven't wanted to talk with Him. There have been days where I've cried with absolute desperation to get rid of these symptoms. I've had my "this is SO NOT FAIR" tantrums. Seriously, if Jesus died to give me abundant life... bring on the abundance!!! But I know that's not what Jesus meant by abundance. He didn't mean easy, perfect, harm-free or painless. He meant resting in His sufficiency. He meant taking every blessing He gives for what it is, regardless of how "small" we deem it to be. We have to realize that abundant life to Jesus isn't defined by this world's standards. His abundance comes in the form of unanswered prayers and blessings in disguise and silver linings on clouds. Ephesians 3:20 tells us that God can do "IMMEASURABLY MORE THAN ALL WE CAN ASK OR IMAGINE."
I'm thankful that I have 4 years of this behind me and I can count SO many blessings over these years. I know I have many more years ahead... some with active symptoms and some without I am sure. For now, I will try to live in the moment and take one day at a time. And for the record, I'll probably pass on the next Priscilla Shirer bible study that comes my way!