Hello sweet friends! I am always so humbled as I write these Notes from the Porch Updates & know that so many of you are praying for me & walking with me on this long journey. Since my last update there have been several serious things that have occurred & I wanted to take just a few brief moments to update you & ask for continued prayer. As I mentioned last time because my iron dropped so low I needed to have another couple of Iron treatments. During this time I was so blessed to have a woman come over & just encourage me & start praying for me. It is always such a blessing when the Lord uses people to show you such extreme kindness during these very hard moments. It truly humbles me how the Lord shows his mercies (Lamentations 3) every single day. Shortly after the iron treatment was finished I posted this picture on instagram & was grateful for so many prayers that there was no immediate severe reaction.
Unfortunately shortly after I posted that picture things started to go downhill. By the time that my mom had reached a grocery store (approximately 15 minutes away) I was already starting to feel the full side effects & had become very ill. (It should be noted here that many many people receive different types of iron infusions. For some people it helps them feel immediately better, while others, like myself extremely struggle due to the fact that we have other complicating illnesses that the body is fighting. For me with Lyme Disease my blood does not "move" as much as it should anyway and the iron infusion is literally "forcing" this to happen so the body feels like it needs to "fight off" the "invader" (iron) instead of readily accepting it.) Unfortunately most people that suffer are able to have several steroid shots to help this reaction be less severe but because Lyme feeds on steroids this is not an option for me. Several of you were immediately praying as I was feeling extremely poorly.
It was a rough trip home & definitely the next few days were extremely rough. By Friday I was starting to feel a little bit better but was not able to do any of my normal treatments that week. Unfortunately on Saturday it became quickly obvious that I was not doing better & now it had nothing to do with the iron infusion, instead I had contracted a virus.
I think that this is a great place to state that this post will show how much my little immune system is so severely compromised at this moment. I contracted a 24 hour virus that has been going on around our area & instead of it being 24 hours it turned into a 5 day "event". The littlest things & germs are a direct threat to my immune system & this is often a constant part of many peoples prayers. I will be honest & also say that for the first time in my life it is also a very very scary reality of my life. By Sunday morning (after being up all night) it became obvious that a trip to the hospital was going to be needed as I could not keep anything in me. Because of the complications of having Sojourn's disease (where I get severely dehydrated) this was a necessary decision that I hated to make. Thankfully we arrived at the hospital & were taken back pretty quickly &I was given lots of anti-nausea meds & several IV bags of fluid.
Unfortunately, it took two nurses & seven sticks (including a mis-stick to hit a tendon- OUCH!!) to have us decide that we will not ever be returning to this hospital ER again. (The pictures below just show one arm as the other arm was WAY too awful to show.)
Also unfortunately, while I felt better after we left the hospital for a few hours, it truly did nothing to help & it required a couple of more IV times. On Tuesday I sent out a picture on instagram begging y'all to pray & thankfully this third IV infusion (with several AMAZINGLY compassionate doctors & nurses praying over me) started to help.
Finally on Wednesday five days after the virus ordeal started I was able to sip a few sips of liquids & yesterday eat some bites of food. To say that it has been an easy journey would be a ridiculous lie & to say that it has been one of the more difficult parts of this long road would be simplifying the intense struggle these last two weeks have been. There are times where I honestly try not to focus on how sick that I am but instead just take one day at a time (or one moment at a time as the case may be) but these last five days in particular have been a reminder of how big this battle is & the reality of needing to see a new doctor to help me in this journey. It has been incredibly scary (it still is) & truthfully at one point I was sure that I was dying & definitely felt like I wanted to as that is how awful I felt. I am sooo appreciative of my TREMENDOUS family & incredible friends who never condemn me for these feelings but simply cry with me, send me hugs from afar, & remind me to hope in the truth of the Lord. When I was able to listen to music I definitely had these two songs on repeat.
As I close out this update I want to say that I am so incredibly grateful for your prayers. I know that often times in these updates I try to focus solely on the positive but I do have two prayer requests & I appreciate your kind understanding that these are not all "positive".
(1) Under the care of my doctors and family I have decided to still step forward & go on the trip next week. Obviously, I am sure it goes without saying about how nerve-wracking that this is for me at this point. Coming off of a "normal" week in this journey had me a little apprehensive about this trip but after this past week I am more than a little concerned. At the same time though I do agree that emotionally (which is also a HUGE part of this battle) this is very important. While I have been shocked by the turn of events these last two weeks the Lord is not. Thank you in advance for your prayers of health protection, safety, and travel mercies.
(2) I will be blunt about this next point as I feel awkward even saying this... but the truth is that I am in need of money for weekly treatment and for the trip out to California that I mentioned in my last update. So far I have only raised 1% of my goal for this trip and honestly these last weeks have showed me how necessary this trip is to save my life. Through Chalk and Pine, some Ebay sales (I am trying to sell off all of my belongings at this point for money), some free lance writing work, The Parcel Post Tribe, and The Paper Sonnet I have been able to scrape by some funds for continued treatment here on a weekly basis but after hospital bills from December and from this past week I have not been able to apply any of these funds so far to going to California. In addition to this as most of you know my savings account and some other peoples has been obliterated in this long journey. All of that to say I appreciate any and all donations and your prayers for money for California. As I mentioned last time I have set up a "Go Fund Me" page for donations. Again, thank you so much for your prayers for this particular issue as this is a HUGE stress factor for me right at this moment. You can click HERE to find the page. Thank you for your compassion as this is probably the most awkward part of the journey.
I love y'all, thank you again for all of your prayers and support.