Today I’m seeing my new Scleroderma specialist. If all goes as it should, the rest of the week will be spent researching, contemplating, and hopefully beginning the treatment we’ve decided upon. That is, unless other specialists need to be consulted, so we’ll see.
Since last July (2015) my Scleroderma has been in active phase, destroying, weakening my body, causing constant pain, and adding two more autoimmune disorders to my diagnosis. These are the potential problems that people with Scleroderma encounter if our disease isn’t caught early and treatment begun promptly. Mine wasn’t. I knew this was a possibility when I first went to a specialist in 2014, which is why I aggressively pursued medical help. All of the damage caused by Scleroderma, but for a miracle of God, is irreparable. That isn’t hyperbole, just fact.
But God invades the situation. He encounters us in all the recesses, inner parts, and corners of our lives, places we didn’t even know we were going, causing us to grow in faith and wisdom, making us strong!
Scleroderma shortens my lifespan. But that is in God’s hands, as is my health and yours. Our lives are brief, and we never know how many days we have left. When we contemplate that fact, we are motivated to serve the Lord with renewed vigor, using our remaining time to tell others about Him and His marvelous love. And so, I write.
I write about my autoimmune challenges for these reasons:
- To draw attention to the largely unknown norms of autoimmune disorders.
- To highlight the problems people, especially women, have in getting good care.
- To discuss what God has taught me as He uses this disease for my good.
Most people are still learning about autoimmune diseases, just as we once didn’t know much about cancer. As a result, even doctors are caught flat-footed. Whole departments are now overrun with the patients of this epidemic. Why? Because medical schools didn’t listen and aim students toward specialities they were told would soon be overrun. (I was informed of this by a university medical school insider).
All of this year’s destruction in my body, therefore, occurred because an inexperienced doctor – the only kind taking new patients – couldn’t diagnose me. So he sent me away saying, “See you in a year,” a HUGE no-no with a Scleroderma patient with the highest possible ANA measurement (me). He should have diagnosed and started my treatment then, a year ago.
“But God” promises to use even that for my good. He has made a promise, and He never lies. Only He knows what is truly “good” for me. It often isn’t what I would choose, because He has my eternity in mind.
During that year, He directed me to a specialist in diagnosing, who only lived two hours away. By the grace of God, I went, and I was diagnosed. A treatment plan should be put in place soon if this newest doctor is on top of his game and current with the latest research and treatments.
O, Lord, I hope he is! Please guide him! Please let it be so! Give me the grace and strength to push for what is needed.
God is sovereign over everything that touches my life. He will utilize for good this inexperienced doctor’s error, and any other such doctors’ mistakes that I may encounter, as He has done with this disease since 1988.
This is not a woulda-coulda-shoulda story, not with the Lord. More important things had to be accomplished: God has grown my faith through this process. He knew what He had planned for my refinement, and He got me ready. He knows the future, and He’s already there!
How the Lord got me ready before even all of this: