Sunday, October 21, 2012

Update 3: My Body Hates Me

Near the end of the summer I started noticing a theme: I was getting sick everyday. Whenever I ate, no matter what I was eating, I would get super sick. I have been allergic to dairy for years so I go out of my way to avoid dairy. This was not dairy related. I was getting horribly sick. I would have sharp stabby stomach pains all day, I would get tired almost instantly after eating, a migraine quality headache would soon develop and I was experiencing awful joint pain. Initially I did not connect the headaches, fatigue, or joint pain. I went to the doctor shortly after the semester started, just for the sick and stomach pains. We talked about what could be causing it and she order a lot of blood work.

Those that are successful at obtaining my blood without hurting me will be given a huge reward. To my recollection this has never happened. I have had everything from a phlebotamist inserting the needle and moving it around to find the vein. I have had blood taken from both elbows, the back of both hands, and even from between my knuckles at one point. When having my blood drawn at the doctor's office, it took two people. The first person attempted to get blood from my elbow and couldn't do it. The second person came in and took blood from the back of my hand. The problem, then, was that both were from my right arm, my dominate arm. I lost all feeling in my right arm for the rest of the day, which made driving a fun game.

I went back to the doctors this week to follow up. My blood work showed that I am severely anemic and that I have hypothyroidism. The Anemia I can understand but I have not fully understood what exactly hypothyroidism entails. However, the test for bacterial infections and parasites were clean. In between the two doctors visits I realized that everytime I eat wheat I would have all of the symptoms. So I haven't had gluten in a month. I feel so much better and I'm only getting sick when the dining services sneaks gluten into my food.

So it turns out I have Celiac Disease. Apparently 1 in 100 people have it. It's an autoimmune disease that makes it impossible for my intestines to process gluten (the protein found in wheat, barely, rye, and other grains). I have to load up on the fruits and vegetables and I am trying out weird gluten free foods. It has made eating in the dining hall insanely difficult so I am working with housing to try to move out of the dorm.

In one month I have been diagnosed with anemia, hypothyroidism, and Celiac Disease. My body hates me!

Summer Part 2!

At the beginning of August David and I celebrated out fifth anniversary of dating. I drove up to Massachusetts to visit him. Our intention for the weekend was to go to a wedding in Maine on the Sunday of our anniversary weekend. We planned to stop at the camp, in New Hampshire, where we had met on the Friday. On Saturday, we were going to Harpswell, Maine to see his godmother/aunt. And then Sunday was the wedding in Brunswick. The weekend did not happen as planned.

By the time we were ready to hit the road for New Hampshire it was dinnertime. Instead of eating at a rest stop we decided to eat with David's family. I looked over at David at one point and noticed that he was barely picking at his dinner. Very odd, especially because he had worked in the sun all day. When it was time to leave David's father gave me a hug. I love his father. He's a very loving man but I can count the number of hugs he has given me. But whatever, we got in the car and started driving.

By the time we had reached the camp it was dark. There was a family camp going on but I had received permission for us to stay in a cabin for the night. We spent a while talking to the program director and then made our way down to the cabin. As we walked down to the cabin he checked his pockets, saying that he was looking for his flashlight. We settled into the cabin and David suggested we go for a walk. I stood outside of the cabin waiting for him, and then we made our way down to the water front.

At the water front we spent time looking at the stars and watching the reflection of the moon on the pond. As we were talking about random things, David starts telling me that he loves me and what I meant to him. But then he said that it wasn't enough. My first thought was something along the lines of "If this JERK took me to New Hampshire to break up with me on our anniversary I will kill him dead!" but then suddenly he was on one knee in the sand with a small box in his hand. He likes to tease me because I apparently did not say yes at first. Instead I kissed him, but because I was still smiling it was more of a clashing of teeth.

We spent that night alone in the cabin being happy and dreaming of our future and calling each other fiance, future wife, and future husband...repeatedly. One of the great or horrible things (depends on how you look at it) about my camp is that there is zero cellphone reception. So the next morning we drove to the next town in order to call people to let them know. We sat in a parking lot making calls. I called my sister first. He called his family to let them know I said there was any question.

We then made it up to Harpswell and spent time with Aunt Nancy, Sandra, and Grandma White. We walked along the beach and We went to see Aunt Nancy and Sandra in the community theater play and actually ended up helping out with stage and lighting stuff beforehand. At the play, we talked to one of Aunt Nancy's niece. Later that night she found out that we had just gotten engaged the night before and was surprised with the amount of confidence we had when we said fiance. :)

On Sunday we had breakfast and then ended up heading back to Massachusetts so I could spend extra time with my future in-laws before I had to head back to New Jersey. We didn't make it to the wedding (Sorry Steph and Mike!). It was an amazing weekend!

Summer Recap

It has been nearly five months since my last post and I think a lot has changed and a lot has happened in those five months. I am going to a series of short post to cover the past five months.

I spent the summer working at a small Presbyterian church in New Jersey. It is a New Church Development even though it was founded about twelve years ago. They still meet in the cafeteria of a middle school . It's a single pastor and I learned a  lot of things. I had the opportunity to create a Vacation Bible School curriculum for middle school and high school students that worked with the Daniel in Babylon story. This was probably the highlight of my field education placement. I really got to bond with the kids and I took them on fun trips that had to do with the curriculum I wrote. I also learned other things through this placement. I learned how important it is for a pastor to have clergy and non-clergy friends outside that they can lean on. I also learned that I am pretty sure I am not called to do NCD work and solo pastor might be iffy too...still discerning that.

For the summer I subletted an apartment and spent time living with friends which was a great experience. It was a bit crowded in the small apartment but we bonded even more than we previously had. It was my first time choosing people that I would live with and doing everything on our own. It was a great experience.