If you’ve ever glanced at my “About” page you may have noticed that I mentioned you might catch a bit of my health frenzy in this blog. Well, the time has come. My following posts will be a three part series of my self-healing journey. You may find that this series doesn’t relate to you, but I am positive someone can benefit from it, so please share!
Let’s start from the beginning…..
Part 1: The (Mis)diagnosis
Rewind: December 2010.
It was the winter break of my sophomore year of college. I have had a constant itching on my back and shoulders for years, but that year the itch seemed to prolong more than the usual. The summer of 2009 I had done some blood work as requested by a rheumatologist, but never went back for my results. Apparently the results could not be shared over the phone, so I had to go into the office personally. However, with the diagnosis I had, you’d think they would have persistently insisted that I would come into the office. During the college winter break, I had finally decided to go get my results, more than a year later. Clearly, my health wasn’t a priority.
As the doctor was about to tell me my results, he seemed very hesitant and apologetic. It was the holiday season, and he was apologizing for what he was going to tell me at what should be the merriest time of the year.
He finally gets the words out, “You’ve been diagnosed with lupus.” My response, “Okay.”
It was the first time I had ever heard of lupus. I was unmoved by his words. They meant nothing to me. Okay, I have lupus. Let’s fix that. No biggie.
I called my family to tell them the news completely unaware of the concern it would bring upon them. After I arrived home, I figured I would do some research on this disease. The first words that popped out at me, “May lead to death.” OH. Gotta love google.
In short, lupus is “a systematic autoimmune disease that occurs when your body’s immune system attacks your own tissues and organs,” (mayoclinic.org). Though it can lead to death in severe cases, many can live a normal life span with proper medical attention.
The doctor had requested I get more blood work done before starting treatment, which I did. Between that time, my sister and I decided to pray and fast that this second blood test would give negative results for lupus. Truthfully, I wasn’t very much concerned. God had given me His overwhelming peace through the situation.
A few days later, I received a call from the doctor’s office.
“May I speak with Ms. Sanchez?”
“Yes, she’s speaking,” I respond with great suspense.
“We received your blood test results. You tested negative for lupus.”
Absolute shock, amazement, overwhelming joy are a few words to describe how I felt in that very moment.
Apart from that, the only lupus-like symptoms I had, the itchiness and rashes, had come to a complete halt, something that had never occurred. The itch would lessen from time to time, but never completely cease.
I was itch free! What a relief it was. Have you ever felt like you wanted to just crawl out of your skin? Or peel it off?! (Too graphic?) That’s how I had felt, but finally it had all come to an end….
Or so I thought.
2 months later, the itch was back. I was conflicted in my faith. God, hadn’t you healed me? Did my doubt (I often feared the itch would come back, and at times felt as if I was waiting for it) cause these symptoms to return? Why had the itch stopped right after the fast? Wasn’t this the proof that my prayer for healing had been answered?
As I think back to all these occurrences I am more convinced that the original diagnosis of lupus was an error made by the laboratory. Still, I am grateful to God because if I stand in good health it is by His grace alone.
In 2015 I consulted a dermatologist who, in retrospect, had a much simpler diagnosis. “You have eczema.” Okay, I have eczema. Let’s fix that. No biggie.
Little did I know I had a long journey before me to understand my health and symptoms. The itch had not only returned, but in a short time it would be at its absolute peak.
Have you experienced something similar? Have you ever felt like God answered a prayer only to take it back? What situations have brought you confusion in your faith and what God was doing? Are you now able to understand that past situation or have you simply decided to choose Him even when you don’t understand? I’d love to hear your stories. Share and comment below!
Stay tuned for Self-Healing: Part Two, Make the Itch Stop!
May your day be graciously adventurous,