I thought the pain in my right shoulder was due, in part, to the fact that I was now having to carry around a 3 month old baby girl that had been placed in our home as our foster child. We had recently adopted her brother and sister and the addition of this sweet bundle of joy was exhausting! I would wake up every morning with stiffness in my neck and shoulder.
My morning routine would be to go straight to a hot shower to loosen up my joints. But last September the pain began to be unbearable! It felt as if ALL my joints were on fire and nothing I took could relieve the pain I now felt throughout my entire body. We talked about me seeing a doctor the following week.
I will never forget that shocking Saturday morning in September of 2011. My husband had stayed home from work so I could sleep after a very restless night of pain in my right shoulder. When I think about what happened, it still seems surreal. Shortly after 9am, my husband asks me to take him to the ER. His exact words were, “It’s in my chest and we need to hurry!” In less than 3 hours I had driven him to the ER, they had life-flighted him to another hospital and placed a stint in his heart. He remained in the hospital for a week.
While sitting by his bedside he urged me to see our family doctor a.s.a.p. because the pain in my shoulder had not subsided at all. When I described my symptoms to the doctor, he said it sounded like arthritis and prescribed lab work. When the results arrived, I was recommended to consult a Rheumatologist. WOW! A heart attack and RA, both in one week! All I could think was, “God, what are you doing and why now?”
The rheumatologist confirmed I indeed had RA. My husband and I went to see him again to discuss how I could treat it. I remember him telling us that I was going to have to live with this disease for the rest of my life and that my bones would slowly deteriorate.
Taking meds would slow down the effects of my disease and that due to the side effects of the meds I would have to have my liver and kidneys checked consistently for deterioration. I asked the doctor if he knew of another safer, more holistic way. He told me that other approaches were unscientific and never worked anyway. My husband and I walk out and never returned.
We felt God had another way for us to deal with this disease. While I remained unable to move freely, I cried out to God on a number of occasions asking Him to take it away, or to just give me some relief. My husband began searching the internet for a more holistic approach. The following week a good friend gave me the information for her Naturopath. I began seeing her and following the diet plan and supplements she recommended. I saw some improvement over time but the pain was still there.
During this time the Lord gave me a verse that I memorized, Psalm 73:25-28: “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” It was during this time that I began seeing another holistic doctor who ran “new” tests. I began to incorporate exercise and with my new diet plan I began seeing drastic improvements!
I knew that God was answering my prayers and that I could once again see the light at the end of my dark tunnel. With each passing day, I am reminded that God is in control and He is once again proving Himself faithful to me. I recently found a proven, clinical approach that is based on the research from the book The New Arthritis Breakthrough by Henry Scammell. I was reminded about Paul’s words in Romans about Abraham, “in hope against hope he believed . . .” I believe that God indeed desires to heal me for HIS glory and I am thankful!