Friday, September 21, 2012

Depression and Illness

As a teenager I suffered from severe depression. Some people may know that fact about me, but others may not. I was a very angry, lonely, depressed teenager with low self esteem. As I got older though, and especially after I became a mom the first time, the depression left. I think that for me, being a mother gave me a real reason to live. Life wasn't just about me anymore... although it never should have been just about me to begin with but back then I didn't have the relationship with God I needed to have.

Since becoming ill, and starting dialysis I have heard some talk about depression and chronic illness. It is said that when someone has a severe illness such as kidney failure, cancer, etc that they go through a grieving process just like someone that has lost a loved one.

The reason I bring this all up is to say that I have not dealt with depression in years, matter of fact I never expected to have to deal with it again. But it has tried to rear its ugly head again. I know this is part of the devils plan to reek more havoc in my life. To keep me down and out emotionally and spiritually. In the last year I have suffered 2-3 bouts of depression, the good news is it was short lived, praise the Lord! Mostly just a few hours where my brain could not handle 'handling it well' anymore. The depression just came on me like a wave, choking and suffocating so I literally could not breathe. I will not go into the dark thoughts and feelings that I have dealt with during these times... just because I don't want to give voice to it. But for those of you that have suffered from depression, I'm sure you can imagine some of what I may have felt. In these instances I for whatever reason was not able to call out to God immediately, but He called out to me and when I grasped a hold of Him He didn't let me go. God is so good. He gives us grace and mercy, even when we fail miserably and make the wrong choices. One way God helped me recently was through a rogue Christian radio station. I was just searching through the stations and came across a somewhat fuzzy station I had never heard before... and have not heard since. Unlike the regular Christian radio station that usually plays so much garbage, the songs playing that day spoke to my heart and helped to bring me out of the dark. Was that God? I believe so, but even if you argue it wasn't, it sure was good timing!

If you are going through something difficult in your life, regardless of what it is, cry out to God. He will be faithful to answer you!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Some things just can't be explained.

Since my last post regarding my improved Kidney function, not a lot has changed. Other than my increased confusion and a new determined sense to just trust God.
There are two tests that measure the creatinine. One is a blood (serum) creatinine test and the other is called a 24 hr urine clearance test. It would be very hard for me to try to explain the difference between these two tests so if you are interested, in more information, here is a link.
The 24 hr urine creatinine indicated that my kidney function had improved. However the blood creatinine test indicated my kidney function was decreasing. My Doctor said the longer I went without dialysis the higher the blood creatinine would get and I would also be at risk for increased potassium (which leads to heart problems). I decided to just trust my Doctor because I couldn't make sense of any of it.
All I know is that I am still feeling better, I still have increased urine output and I still have little to no swelling (fluid retention). These are indicators of increased kidney function, regardless of the numbers. I can't explain any of it and I'm not going to try. I am thankful that I am able to do dialysis two times a week instead of three. I am grateful that I have more energy. And I have decided to NOT complain about waking up 3-5 times a night to go to the bathroom. Sure it means a decrease in quality of rest, but my body is creating urine, YEAH! :)
I will trust God completely. He will heal me in His timing. I do not at this time believe that a miracle must be instant, complete and permanent in order to be a true miracle (as described in the book Miracles: A Journalist Looks at Modern Day Experiences of God's Power by Tim Stafford). Who are we to put limitations on God? Some things just can't be explained.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Book Review: Miracles: A Journalist Looks at Modern Day Experiences of God's Power by Tim Stafford

The author, Tim Stafford claims to have written this book from a journalistic view. However to write something from a true journalistic view, it should obtain little to no opinion and be based on facts and observations. Tim Stafford does not hold back on his opinions in this book, and I feel that his opinions cloud things up.

One statement he makes that I simply can not agree with is to the affect that "a miracle must be instant, complete and permanent". This is a mans description of a miracle. But what is God's description of a miracle?

I really do believe that believing in miracles comes down to faith. People want miracles so that they will have faith and then be able to believe in God. Unfortunately I don't think it works that way. Miracles definitely do boost our faith and we need that! However if you walk around demanding miracles of God as a ultimatum to your belief, you might be sorely disappointed.

Despite my personal dislike for this book, I do think that there is some decent information in here for the general public. However, understand that the author is not an expert and really just an average person writing his opinion (as am I), so take that with a grain of salt.

I received a free copy of Miracles in exchange for my honest opinion. I received no other compensation.