Tunnel vision

Corrie Ten Boom

I am having trouble writing this. Putting something in writing makes it official. I don’t want this to be official. Some of you know about this if you’ve read my book. One of the surgeries I have had, was due to a spinal birth defect that was brought to the surface from my Fluoroquinolone antibiotic damage. My core muscles grew weaker and uncovered a preexisting evil in my spine.  Before they fused L5S1, I endured nearly 2 years of absolute agony. Everytime I would relax to fall asleep, I would be jolted awake by sudden excruciating pain in my spine. My legs would both jerk upward, and it felt like my pelvis would disconnect from my spine. My heart would suddenly race, and I would begin sweating instantly. Over and over and over. I spent those years enduring this multiple times night after night after night. I became sleep deprived, unmotivated, and desperate. For some reason, this would never occur during any of the seemingly thousands of medical images we tried to take to document it. My surgeon began to look at me doubtingly, and I even began questioning my own sanity. I had to endure a psychiatric evaluation, which showed that I am not crazy, though my family and friends might tell you otherwise ha! Finally they did a discogram as a last ditch effort to see if the disc was in bad shape. Thankfully it showed a major problem and my surgeon could fuse that segment of spine based on those findings. When they opened me up, it revealed a birth defect of the facet joints that never showed up on any of the medical images and confirmed what I had been saying for 2 years. My spine was unstable. I endured a grueling recovery, but a totally worth it one because the shifting stopped. I’ve been so much better since. I’ve thanked God many times for fixing that problem and asked Him to never let anything like that happen again. Rating all of my injuries and recoveries from 1-10 on a pain scale…the lumbar spine problem and fusion rates a 10 in difficulty every time. 

In the last couple months I’ve been hit with some weird health problems. I’ve been diagnosed with vasculitis in my feet. This type of vasculitis was blood clots in the superficial veins. This hurt like a bad mamma jamma and struck out of nowhere. Then I had a Reynauds diagnosis officially confirmed. That is a disorder where your hands and feet turn blue. I came back with something called an M Spike in my bloodwork, and it is linked to a precancerous condition called MGUS. It predisposes you to a higher risk of developing several different cancers such as Leukemia, Lymphona, Waldenstroms, and Multiple Myeloma. First they had to run a lot of different workups to make sure I didn’t actually already have one of these cancers. Thankfully I don’t as of right now, but I’ll have to be checked intermittently for the rest of my life because there is a risk of MGUS switching over into one of these cancers I guess whenever it feels like it. Are we having fun yet? I’m not. I also have gotten to enjoy a new rash on my legs called purpura. Purpura is bleeding under the surface of the skin.  We don’t know why this fun new bodily decor showed up either. Best my Rheumatologist, Hematologist/Oncologist, and Primary care doc can guess is that I, “probably have an autoimmune disorder of some nature.” Well, that clears it up…but wait, I’m getting to the nitty gritty.

It’s been monsoon season here in Arizona which makes me feel like a truck ran over my joints. The changing pressure just aches all of the joints I’ve had surgified in the last 7 years and wakes up my arthritis to ruin my comfort. I’ve been chalking my aching and crackling popping low back, to the monsoon season and being more physically active this year. This last week, drifting off to sleep, the most dreaded nemesis of my whole body struck. The spine shifted on it’s own in that evil agonizing way it did before my fusion, but this time its at the level right above it. I feel like vomiting even as I type it. The devil is a big fat jerk and aims to steel my peace at every turn. I will take great joy in seeing him thrown in a pit some day. 

I’m bracing for an uphill battle I have no desire to fight. I pray God takes this away. I pray it with my whole heart and with a knowledge that He is fully capable of doing this. He has done this for me in a few instances in my life, and I have faith He could do it again. Thus far, He has comforted me, but not taken it away. I’ve been administered to for it, (prayed over with oil, like they do in James 5 of the Bible.)  I felt God’s spirit come down over me, in almost a hug. My reminder scripture the day this transpired, was

Romans 8:28 

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

My husband had used this in his sermon last Sunday, and when I showed it to him, he showed me his reminder scripture on his phone was 

Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

I actually groaned when he showed me. This has repeatedly been the scripture sent to me each time I’ve been facing a giant. I honestly didn’t want to hear that one because that has commonly meant I was going to have to face my fear and I always feel daunted by that. 

I know He is aware, but I don’t know His will for this other than that I am to keep up the good fight. The object of this war is always the same. Obey, praise Him, endure and not give the devil the satisfaction of snuffing out faith because life can be so very hard sometimes. 

I need to tell you a miracle in the midst of this. I’ve found that even in times where I loathe the circumstances, that God seeks to pull us close and reassure us. Last night I told my husband I was going to go hike. I knew it would tick my back off a bit, but I will do it till I can’t.  I know how long it took me to fight to get here, and I’m not giving it up for as long as I can help it.  Aaron understood I needed to be alone, so I went by myself. I needed time to wrestle my thoughts with God. I’d been holding some of it back in this denial I was currently paddling upstream in. I needed the ugly kind of pouring out that you can only do alone. I talked with God on my way in the car, and I told Him that I really desperately needed some peace and reassurance right now. 

I got out of the car and began my uphill climb. I had sunglasses on and barely noticed the person in front of me. Months back, I wrote about a woman I’d met on my hike, and the wonderful conversation we’d had about God. We’d exchanged phone numbers and tried to get together twice but both times the plans had fallen through. As I got closer, the hiker in front of me, said how nice a night it was. My mouth dropped open. It was her! I said her name and pulled my sunglasses off. I said “Oh my goodness it’s you!” I gave her a big hug and we began talking. I feel kind of bad. She asked me how I was and everything came out in an emotional vomit session. We continued to talk, and I had already begun realizing that this was certainly no coincidence to run into her. Neither of us normally hiked at this time, and she actually was supposed to work, but had switched her schedule. I was emotional a few times, just marveling at God’s timing and the realization that He knew I’d need encouragement right at that exact moment in time, and He had the foresight and care to orchestrate this happening before it came together. She asked me a question as we hiked. She said, “Why do you think God allows suffering?” I told her what I believe. I believe that God has to allow sorrow so that we will know joy. I believe He is good and only desires that for us. He is merciful and doesn’t leave us in it. He will work all things for good. Suffering reminds us we always need Him, and suffering is just part of this marathon for faith that is this life. She shared some wonderful scriptures with me and we hiked to the top of North Mountain to see a gorgeous sunset together.

North mountain sunset

Squaw Peak

I asked her if we could take a selfie. I half wondered if she was actually an angel and wondered if she’s even show up in the photo.

Cesarea

She shows up so I’m pretty sure she is human. Haha! I know, I probably need another psych eval. Hey…stranger things have happened. She told me that when we meet next time, she will tell me why she thinks God allows suffering. I know God knew exactly what I would need. I was able to finish pouring out my heart to God on the way home and most of it was with joy that He saw fit to orchestrate an intricate plan that only He could have, to reassure me right when I needed it. 

I used to fight rolling my eyes when Paul would talk about joying in infirmities. I thought that guy was a bit cracked. Turns out I’m a bit cracked too and I can’t wait to stroll around in Heaven someday and talk with him. He was right about something. It took me quite awhile to realize. 

2nd Corinthians 9 and 10:

9. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

10. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

When I am weak, God makes me strong. In times of great trial and great distress, God draws close and reveals His power, His attention to detail in our lives, and He lifts us up and carries us when we can no longer stand against our trial. 

When I am doing great in life, I can even forget to pray. I feel somewhat self sufficient and I can sometimes completely forget that each and every breath is granted by God and numbered. There will be a total number of breaths allowed for a lifetime, and only He knows each total. Trial has a way of hitting me with the brick wall reality check I need to remember that I need God as much in the good times as I do in the bad times.

Without the spiritual test that this life is, there isn’t purpose. I could meander through a very mundane cookie cutter life, to die and have meant nothing in a universe that just so happened to bang at some point into a universe of galaxies, planets rotating in perfect design, suspended on the only habitable planet with bazillions of peon’s and animals that just so happened to form a great circle of life with weather and rotation and evaporation that turns to rain…and it would all just be happenstance. Nothing I chose would matter and when I died, I would be forgotten eventually and just be worm food. 

I am really very glad that I do not believe that to be true. Instead I see a design put into place with a great plan for mankind that is so intricate and interwoven, that only a divine being such as God, could have ever spoken it into existence. When I make it through this life I’ve been granted, I’ll take my last breath, and I’ll walk into the arms of Jesus. I will finally thank him for giving his life for me, and hopefully he will feel I’ve given my life for him. My soul will go on eternally and it will hopefully be in the presence of the loving and all powerful God who created it. Last night He gifted me another glimpse of His intricate design with the non coincidental meeting of someone I was meant to see again. 

I’m going to try to have peace that God’s plan is exactly what is supposed to be happening and somehow this is part of His plan. I find I lose my peace when I focus on my plan for my life and forget my life is only on track if I’m living God’s will for my life. The discrepancy between my plan and God’s is that my plan would only entail things like frolicking across Hawaii on a unicorn while eating one of my mother in law’s cinnamon rolls and never having a care again. Actually that my be my idea of Heaven…but God’s plan looks a whole lot more like me actually doing something spiritually productive, like the faith marathon that is life. I think there is only one thing for us to do in these times. 

Hebrews 12:1 

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

Hopefully when this life is over, I can enjoy that bliss that Heaven will be. I really hope they have my Mom in law’s cinnamon rolls there…


11 thoughts on “Tunnel vision

  1. Hello, first, let me say that I am sorry you are facing this spine issue again but, unfortunately I can completely relate. You see, my husband has had 9 spinal surgeries. Two of them were partial reconstructions from the base of his spine to the middle of his back. He has degenerative disc disease so, they fall like dominoes. He has also had his neck fused as well. As a result he has severe, severe nerve damage which causes him horrible pain each and every moment of each day. He is also on a lot of addicting pain medications which are helping him to barely function at this point. Our next step is an implantable stimulator to see if it will confuse the pain messages from his spine to his brain . If that doesn’t work he may be looking at an internal morphine pump.

    To add to this, he suffered a heart attack last year which, thanks be to God he survived but he’s had some issue’s since. To add to all this, I have been sick for over 25 years with Lyme disease and complications of that and recently have been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

    I understand how hard it can be to trust in the Lord, I struggle every single day. I understand how hard it can be waiting on the Lord, I struggle everyday but, like you, I also know when He puts what and or who directly in my path when and how I need it .. It isn’t easy though… I do pray everything goes well with you and may the Lord comfort you and give you peace.

    Like

  2. The last doctor who treated me told me that I “probably have an autoimmune disorder of some nature.” That’s exactly what I have been left with and read that it’s one of the things that can happen after taking a fluoroquinolone. I am allergic to many things since early childhood and have a minor psoriasis (auto-immune). I believe that allergies are auto-immune, also. You’re so young and should not be subjected to this. I’m at at least 81 and have led a life of robust health until the last three/four years. So really I guess you could say I’m due for this. Had it not been for Cipro, I might have still been living a life of robust health. Who knows. Ai yi yi yi yi!

    Like

  3. I have a nickel size lesion rash for the last week on my left leg between ankle and knee. I believe it is purpura also. I had a dime sized one on my right thigh in march and one on my toe in 2014. My platelets are normal so I don’t know what is going on .i was also flexed so….. It took two weeks for them to go away each time.

    Like

  4. Gods gonna hit that golden buzzer for you Moser. Just like they do on America’s Got Talent when somebody REALLY goes to the finish with grace and humility. 🌹

    Like

  5. Thank you so much for your blog. My long-time, trusted doctor prescribed an antibiotic I’d never had before for a sinus infection. I thought it was odd that the dosage was only 1 per day, so I took the pill and THEN read the patient guide the pharmacy put in the bag. I was alarmed about the possible side effects but I also know that they tend to include some side effects that might not be caused by the medication, but that one of the test subjects had, some are very rare, yadda, yadda. So I went to the internet and found your blog, a number of other articles, and the FDA advisory stating it should not be prescribed for an uncomplicated sinus infection because the risks outweigh the benefits. It was Levofloxacin. Thank you, thank you, thank you for saving me from who knows what side effect manifestation! I didn’t notice any negative effect (except a little nerve tingling in the right palm that is now gone) from having taken that 1 pill. I called the doctor’s office and they prescribed a penicillin drug instead. I will have words with the doctor when next I go to the office. Thank you, Linda

    Like

  6. Dear Amy,
    so sorry that all this new-old stuff has happened to you. Pls take courage and pls dont lose hope – there will be a way out of this all. As you might know, I had more than 20 symptoms from an FQ for several yrs, but Jesus helped me to get almost completely free of them by prayer ministry (actually, deliverance).
    Did you know that vasculitis as well as purpura can be caused by FQs, even yrs after having taken the FQ? There are many studies about both of these. These are the ones about purpura:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19769684
    https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/3e1b/6630f8e9905ad717ebc30dd6c83032904d52.pdf
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3332179/
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1299982
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3603892/
    Many blessings to you from Germany,
    and may Jesus strengthen you each minute of each day,
    Christine

    Like

  7. Amy, I am so sorry that things have been even harder lately. I am also recovering from what a Fluoroquinolone (Levofloxocin) did to me. You have my love and my prayers.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s