Friday, October 24, 2014

Vestibular update and my latest diagnosis

I haven't written a post in a while, mostly because I haven't felt led by the Lord to share anything. Some things have changed the past month and I wanted to at least share my latest diagnosis for those who may be following my vestibular disorder journey.
My vestibular rehabilitation ended on September 11th after 6 months of therapy. My therapist appealed to my insurance company to pay for more visits. They kept giving us the run around for almost a month.  One representative would tell us I'm not allowed anymore visits and another representative would say the visits were unlimited.  I had to make a choice.  I had reached a point of complete and total weariness in even wanting to do the exercises anymore.  I had stopped doing them for the month that my insurance company was making their decision and since I hadn't gotten any worse and the therapy wasn't helping me get any better, my husband and I decided that I would not return.  In the meantime, my grandmother told us that she was ready to move in with us (we had been praying for months for her to make this decision). I don't believe it was a coincidence that my therapy ended after six months and grandmother suddenly decided to move in!  She could have decided to move in sooner, while I was still in therapy, but she didn't. My treadmill was in the space where she would now be living so we had to sell it. I couldn't use it anymore for therapy so it was clear with this new direction that the Lord was leading us in, that deciding not to go back was the right decision.  The door is always open if I need it!  However, she would become my therapy by keeping me all kinds of busy! ;)

I was a bit concerned because of my illness, hoping it would not interfere with caring for her. I knew the Lord was at work and that He would equip me with everything I needed to make sure my grandma was taken care of, despite my own condition.  About two weeks before she moved in I reached that place of desperation where I cried out to the Lord with the admission that I simply could not go on like this anymore in my own strength. If He wanted me to continue this way, then He would have to provide everything I needed to go on. Of course, being our great and awesome God, He did just that and more.  I know that He does His greatest work in our place of surrender and although I've needed Him to get me through each and every day since this all started in January, this sense of need was different.  It was rock bottom, mostly emotionally, and when you're at the bottom there is no where to go but up!  More on that to follow...
As for my new diagnosis, I had made an appointment to see a neuro-ophthalmologist and waited 6 weeks to see him.  I just had that visit about 2 weeks ago.  Ever since this illness started, I have suffered with this strange illusion of the objects in my environment moving slightly back and forth just about 24/7.  When I'm moving or watching movement, I don't notice it, it's only when I'm completely still.  I knew this wasn't typical of labyrinthitis or MAV and I was curious to see if it was something wrong with my brain or eyes.  The doctor confirmed that I have a rare condition called "ocular flutter".  He could see with one of his tools that my eyes make fast back and forth jerking movements when trying to focus on objects.  It's not detectable with the naked eye, but it's happening and is the reason why I've had this illusion of movement. He said it's normally caused by neurological disease but since my MRI was normal, he ruled that out. He basically called me a case study! He said he would present my case to other specialists he confers with to see if they have any theories as to why this is happening.  Since there is no "cure", this is just another road that leads back to the Lord healing me by His own divine hand.

As I mentioned earlier, when I reached my place of surrender with the Lord, He gave me all I needed to go on in His power. I can't fully explain how that moment changed everything, but ever since that day it has been like living a fully healed life although I am not yet healed. I know that sounds strange and may not even make sense, but it's the only way I know how to explain it. I didn't think I'd ever not despair being in this condition and yet He's given me joy, perseverance, hope, encouragement, peace, strength and more. I didn't know how I'd care for my grandma and yet her being here has been therapeutic for me. She keeps me going and not focused on the illness.  The less I focus on it, the less I even notice it. Don't get me wrong, it's still difficult and I have my moments of fear, but I truly know now what it's like to live in the Lord's power and not my own strength. 
I believe I will be healed; He promised I would be.  Now I know for sure He won't be using doctors or medicine.  How awesome to anticipate the God of the universe healing a physical ailment with His own divine power.  What a great day that will be when He gets all the glory.

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