My breathing has been waning this week. It has to do with the quality of the air due to the many fires that are going around my area in Oregon and Washington. It sucks. No other words describes it. This week I have not done any exercises at all because of it. I feel congested. You can see it in my peak flow chart. For the last week I have only hit 250 as my highest with the heat and humidity. Now with the rain and less humidity I hit 370. I feel discouraged. I’m not sure what I can do about it. All I know is that when the air is stuffy I can barely function.
So, this week I’ve been dealing with my emotions. Emotions can be so fickle. They can be so self-deprecating. Because I’m not breathing well, my sleep is suffering too. I’m a girl who needs her sleep. I feel grumpy. I know in my mind that I’m going to have bad moments with my RA, Vasculitis especially when it comes to breathing well. Still, I want to scream and pout. I want to gorge myself on food and just veg out until I explode. I know that is not healthy thinking at all.
So, this week I was watching the TV show on PBS called “The Jazzy Vegetarian”. Also last night my oldest sister went to the ER with a gallbladder attack. She is possibly facing surgery with a big stone in her gallbladder. It got me to thinking about my own gallbladder attack a couple of years ago. I had my gallbladder removed. It helped. I also know that I’m not supposed to eat a lot of fat in my diet. I do though. Especially when it comes to cheese. Confession time: I can eat a 2 lb. block of cheese in 3 days. Yes, I know. That is disgusting. I feel disgusting after I do it. While I am eating it. It feels so good going down. I don’t feel good after I eat it. I was reminded when my third oldest sister told me that the ER doctors told my oldest sister that she need to eat less fat in order to conquer the gallbladder stones. Ugh! Talk about a smack down. This also correlates with a conversation that I had with my second oldest nephew about how changing your life is difficult. I feel convicted. The last year I have been consumed with the thought that in order for me to become the healthiest I can be. I had to overhaul some of my ideas and start learning to surrender to Jesus. Talk about a huge challenge.
Surrender is not easy for me. I’ve been relying on myself since I was a child. I lived with an unpredictable mother until I was 13. She wasn’t safe. She went through mood swings and health crises until she passed away. Then I moved in with my older sister and her family. She and her husband were drug addicts and dealers. So their home environment was chaotic and negative. That lasted six months and then I moved in with my guardian family who I am in relationship now. It was different and had their own hiccups in life but it was better. I still had to rely on my own strength to protect myself from the emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical pain. Although, I have forgiven those who have hurt me. I still have residue from those relationships. I have a hard time trusting and relying on someone else to care for me. I’m learning. I’m slowly dipping my feet into the lake of surrender. Since I started reading the bible from cover to cover and integrating myself in Jesus’ word. I have learned that surrender and relationship are a big part of what Jesus wanted for us. We are connected. Jesus and I are connected. He has not let me down at all. Through all the surgeries, abusive childhood, deaths and rebirths, and the many beautiful parts of my life. He has lead the way for me to grow and be who I am. Maybe, instead of asking God why I was abused, made to have these two illnesses, be a scapegoat for people in my life. I should be thankful that I am learning that I can work through the painful moments and I can obey God and still be joyful.
Yes, I am having a bad week with my breathing, but I am able to surrender and obey Jesus in different ways. In September it will be Invisible Illness Week that is run by Rest Ministries. I have been a part of this for the last couple of years. Perhaps, instead of complaining. I can open up my heart and surrender to the joyful moments this year has brought to me. Instead of complaining about how no one understands what I am going through and the judgmental comments and looks that I get. I can focus on grace and love that I am able to have for those in the world despite my illness. Yes, we all want to be understood, but to me complaining about it and whining about it does not correct the problem. It wages a war. So this year, instead of complaining about my illnesses. I am going to share the joy that I am having because of my illness and my triumphs. That is what I want to focus on. I love what Lisa is doing and I’m glad she is opening up the dialogue and sharing. That is valuable too. I just want to communicate in a different way. Encourage myself and others to be joyful, to rely on, and to surrender to Jesus those people who are negative, cruel, and demeaning of those struggling with a chronic condition that is not visible to them. I want to have the same grace that Jesus has for me towards those who hate me.